In business, it takes a special sort of finesse to turn a sale into a hospitable experience. To be hospitable to your customers is to make them feel as if the sale is on the back burner, even better – like the sale does not exist. Instead, energy and focus gets poured into a customer’s needs, wants and curiosities.
When customers feel appreciated, like their time and money is being well spent, they pay a business back in both loyally and reputation. With exceptional customer service so hard to find these days, it could be the thing that sets your business apart and gets people talking. Every business owner has the potential to revive the lost art of the exceptional customer experience, and the wise ones will.
In order for a customer to be satisfied they are going to need to be heard. After all, the experience is about them, their needs and your ability to fulfill them. (Exceeding expectations is an added bonus, which will come to most customers as a pleasant surprise, but more on that later…)
Even though you should be listening, you have a very important communicative role too, that of asking questions. This is the most key part of the customer experience, asking the right questions and then decoding their answers. Listen to what it is your customers want, confirm that you understand them correctly and then explore some doable options together.
As the ambassador of your brand, you know what works based on the knowledge of your own strengths. By being self aware, you will be able to guide customers though logical options that you can really deliver.
While you must value the things your customer says that they want, you also must educate them on the realities of your industry, products and services. You know more about your company, its culture and its way of conducting business. Find an interesting way to brand the experience by opening your customer’s eyes to the possibilities they didn’t know about and the exploratory options that they might never have considered otherwise.
Personalize and Follow Up
Because you asked the right questions and listened so intently at the start of the customer experience, you’ve gained another valuable insight: personalization. Whether that touch lies in a final message, the packaging or delivery, a customer will appreciate the fact that you did not treat them like another order on the assembly line, and instead, like an valued, special client.
In addition to personal touches be sure to deliver on special requests, specifics and must-haves. Once you’ve done so, communicate this effort to your customer and follow up for any additional needs. The cherry on top of the customer experience is the fact that you won’t disappear the moment you make a sale. Instead, you will be around to check-in and ensure that the quality of their experience is still at the exceptional level you aimed for.
What other ways can you maximize the customer experience?