On giving that customer service wow… When I am not away speaking somewhere, I like to break my days up with a coffee and a sandwich at a local cafe. I take my iPad. Sometimes I write. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I update my todo list. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I “do” social media. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I might read The Times. I often do the crossword.
I generally see it as a refresher and if my wife and kids are out it also means that I get to speak to someone other than myself. I am pretty sure that it harks back to reading Paddington Bear as a child. Paddington always took elevenses with Mr Gruber and I always thought, “What a splendid idea.”
The truth is that it allows me to separate my day, plan activities and do some work… and there are some activities, blog writing for example, that I just do better when there is some noise around me. Anyway, the point is that I go to this cafe regularly. They know me. And I am a good customer.
“The usual Gavin?”
Predictable money. In the till. Bosh!
Or not bosh. Because they take me for granted. Not in a bad way. Not in a rude way. No, they have banter with me and ask me about my family and are generally nice. But they don’t serve me the same as they serve, say, a new customer. They don’t serve me fast and they don’t upsell me. Not even though history would suggest I want it.
Let’s put it this way, if I am there for an hour, I am good for a filter coffee, a ciabatta and a cappuccino. If I get into a blog post (or the crossword), maybe even another cappo. But they rarely get more than one coffee out of me because they don’t get to me fast enough and they rarely ask me if I want anything else.
I can hear you getting irate. “But Gavin, I don’t care about coffee.” Yes, I know but this isn’t about coffee. This is about customer service, sales and business. This is about turnover. This is about pure unadulterated profits.
Look at it this way, if I go into that cafe three times a week, 40 weeks of the year, that is at least 120 coffees lost. Up here in the North that would be at least £20. Just joking, £250. A lot of cash to a small business owner if they do that with a few customers. And maybe with others they are losing more expensive items like cakes or glasses of wine.
And it’s not just cafes, is it? I change mobile providers virtually every time my contract comes up. Why? Because I always discover that I could have been on a better rate but no-one told me. I move money around bank accounts. Why? Because the banks can’t be bothered to let me know that they have better options for me and because I have spent the last period of time failing to speak to anyone who cares about me or my money.
Many companies spend a fortune on acquiring new customers. They pay for advertising and they employ salespeople. Social media agencies work tirelessly to make them social and PR companies promote the heck out of them. They make promises, tout promotions and promise the earth. And all to win new clients, whatever the cost.
Many companies give the best offers to their new friends, they give the best service to their new squeeze and they go the extra mile for their new pals. They throw everything at them including the kitchen sink… and spangly, new taps… and a complimentary plumber… all to ensure that they hit their quotas. All to ensure that they keep on landing new customers.
And so often at the expense of existing clients. So often seemingly funded by existing clients. So often at the risk of upsetting and even losing dissatisfied, existing clients.
Existing customers and clients are critical for your business. You’ve already paid to acquire them. You’ve already done the hard work. They deserve to be cherished. They deserve the extra mile. They deserve the best you have to offer… and then some.
Here are my top 6 top tips for WOWing existing clients with amazing customer service…
- Do what you say you’re going to do.
- Be nice.
- Do it when you say you’re going to do it.
- Be nice.
- Do more than you say you are going to do.
- Be nice.
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