1. If you know that a customer is coming to visit you, put up a sign (or maybe a balloon) that welcomes them to your business. Tell your team who is coming so that they know who your customer is and can call them by name.
2. When you go to visit a customer, take them a present. A special balloon, a box of cream cakes, a funny badge. Something that will make them remember you. And send them something with your quote or your invoice. It only needs to be small but it will make an impression.
3. Let customers know about things that might be of interest to them even though they do not necessarily come directly from your business. For instance, manufacturing customers might be interested in an export event being run by the IOD. Or one of the banks might be running a session on cashflow management.
4. Guarantee what you do. If your customer was not happy with what you had done, you would probably move heaven and earth to put things right. So why not guarantee it?
5. Let the customer know that you really care about them. Dirty cups, scruffy appearance or a dirty window all tell the customer that you don’t care
6. Accept complaints graciously and treat them as though they are nuggets of pure gold. These are your opportunities to improve and increase loyalty.
7. Always smile when you greet a customer either in person or on the phone. The customer can sense if you are not pleased to see them. And don’t forget to make eye contact.
8. Have a menu of drinks. It doesn’t cost any more than tea and coffee but it will dazzle the customer. Have some interesting sweets in a jar. How about Black Jacks or Fruit Salad or whatever was your favourite as a child.
9. Make your shop or office a fun place to go to. It has to be fun for you, fun for your team and fun for your customers.
10. Understand the power of “thank you”. Thank your customers. Thank your team. Thank your referral sources. Try sending a “thank you” note to customers that pay you promptly - it can have an amazing effect!
11. Under promise and over deliver. If a job is going to take one week then allow some extra time and surprise your customer by completing it early. When you deliver the finished item emphasise how you pulled out all the stops to get it done early.
Derek Williams is creator of The WOW! Awards™ and Chief Executive for the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals in Europe.
For more information about Derek Williams visit http://www.MrWow.co.uk
For The WOW! Awards (including access to a FREE customer service newsletter) visit http://www.TheWowAwards.com