Charm makes customers feel special and keeps them coming back.
In the constant search for ways to keep customers coming back, one totally free customer service tool is often overlooked: charm. Simple actions like looking every customer in the eye, making small talk and asking thoughtful questions create emotional connections that customers can’t help but enjoy. Starbucks is the perfect example of a company that has successfully used this tactic to create happy, return customers.
It takes mere seconds to make a connection, to really look and listen to customers. Lee delivered a free “wow” along with those lattes–and earned himself a memorable tip.
Sure, your business may be more complex than beverage service, but that’s exactly why a few seconds of truly personal attention can blow people’s minds. And it doesn’t have to cost anything. Here are nine ways your employees can dazzle your customers without spending a dime:
Eye Contact and a Smile
When your employees make eye contact with every customer, every customer feels like the only customer in the world. It only takes a second to smile, look people in the eye and ask them what they need. Without the smile, eye contact can be threatening, so the two go together.
When customers are waiting for their orders, small talk is a great way to fill the space. Asking them how they are, what they are up to today or simply asking what’s new can initiate connections that keep customers coming back.
Small talk often reveals things the customer has in common with the employee. When employees share those interests and remember those shared interests on future visits, customers feel truly special. They enjoy returning to discuss those interests again.
Invariably, small talk can reveal a small problem or difficulty the customer faces, such as finding a new dry cleaner or locating a piece of equipment for an upcoming camping trip. Encourage employees to offer suggestions to their customers little problems. Customers will remember and appreciate their helpfulness.
Sincerity is Key
If employees feel any of these interactions are forced, it just won’t work. Employees need to genuinely care about helping the customer have a great day. If you provide a pleasant work environment and encourage employees to offer a pleasant experience to customers, you’ll have a winning combination.
Charm Makes Happier Employees Too
One blog asked Starbucks employees, “Do you feel obligated to acknowledge customers in non-work settings?” Overwhelmingly, employees did not feel an obligation to turn on the charm outside of work. They actually felt a desire to. One responded, “I told a customer today that the whole reason to be in the coffee business is the people. We have the best, most loyal, most friendly, most honest customers I’ve ever seen. No matter how bad my day is going otherwise, a few regulars can make it a lot better.” Now that’s the kind of employee sentiment that keeps a business running!