Putting a price on 'priceless'
Customer loyalty is priceless. It goes way beyond delivering a high standard of customer service and meeting the needs of the customer in terms of product offering and processes you have in place.
Loyalty is engendered when you emotionally connect with your customers and you and your team have the ability to communicate your humanness at each customer touchpoint.
Your customers want to feel that you care for them, that you understand them and that they mean something to your business. You have to give them something to talk about, something to share and something that lets them know without doubt that you ‘get’ them.
Letting your customers influence your business decisions, your recruitment decisions and the behaviour of your employees will enable you to build a customer-centric business and to focus on lifetime value from your customers. World-class businesses do this.
Your people should embody a customer-centric mindset – understanding your customers by standing in their shoes, seeing your business from the customers perspective, responding and reacting that works for the customers and not primarily for the business.
You and your team should be knowledgeable on the impact you are making in your customers’ lives. Take a leaf from many outstanding charitable organisations. They have to demonstrate their impact when applying for grant funding and charitable donations. Understanding and demonstrating impact is critical to success in their world.
We all feel good when we hear or read customer testimonials and their expectations have been exceeded. It makes even better reading when the customer has been completely wowed. In the majority of cases the wow has come from an act of kindness, something simple, thoughtful and low cost that has blown the customer’s mind. These ‘priceless wows’ can’t be planned or can’t be staged. They can’t be part of your processes – if they are, they become your standards of service.
A priceless wow comes as a result of a decision taken in the moment by you or one of your employees. Something that is done or said to your customer that shows that you care about, understand and truly value them. I love to be on the receiving end of a priceless wow and share my personal stories far and wide when I am. In fact, that’s what we all do because being on the receiving end makes us feel special. This builds loyalty.
Today I’d like to share a few stories that I heard last week. I was delighted to be invited as a guest to Love Ladies Business Networking Group in Solihull with 56 fantastic ladies in attendance. During the lunch I was seated with 6 members from a diverse range of businesses. I was given the opportunity to talk about what and why I do what I do. I shared with them my passion for working with businesses that have a head for business and heart for people – their customers and their employees.
I went on to ask each member at the table if they could share an example of a priceless wow they have given to one of their customers. Initially, the majority around the table talked about building great relationships, understanding their customers and delivering exceptional customer service. I explained that a priceless wow was more than this and gave them a few examples to prompt them.
The stories then came thick and fast, they were all low cost, customer-centric and simple. I’m sure that they have been shared often by their customers but not that often by themselves. I’m sharing them here today.
Biro Dhillon, HCB Solicitors –
Biro is a solicitor, providing private client services and advice on wills, trust and estate planning. She has recently worked with a client in his own home following the death of a loved one. She registered the death on his behalf to reduce his anxiety and approached every conversation from the perspective of ‘this could be my father, how would I want him to be treated in this situation?’ This client will without doubt remember Biro’s empathy and kindness long after he remembers the legal process she helped him navigate. Do you and your team demonstrate empathy and kindness in this way?
Jo Hannon, Founder of SymsNET –
Jo is aware of the benefits of answering the telephone quickly to clients and being responsive to their IT issues. A recent client was delighted that Jo gives out her direct contact number and answered his calls directly and efficiently. This was unexpected as his previous experience with other businesses was that the most inexperienced team members were given the job of answering the telephone. Jo has now implemented this as a standard in her business. Is this something you do in your business?
Sue Crooks, SJC Marketing Ltd –
Sue has several businesses and had reached capacity with her marketing clients. Sue received an enquiry from a prospective client and was honest about her inability to support them. Sue personally gifted the business away and recommended another marketing agency to the client, they were surprised and delighted. Would you and your team happily do this?
Karen Fortnum specialises in interiors –
Karen recently designed and created a new themed bedroom for a little girl. She sourced all of the furniture, wall coverings, soft furnishings and tradesmen to complete the job. The little girl (and her parents) were delighted. Karen then personally sourced and gifted a small item of china to sit on the little girl’s dressing table. An unexpected and treasured gift demonstrating her thoughtfulness. How thoughtful are your team?
Melanie Brown, Founder of Mel’s Little Luxuries –
Mel dispatched an order for some of her beautiful handmade soaps and skincare products to a customer. She always sends a thank you card with her orders. For one particular order, Mel put an inspirational quote in the card. Some weeks later the customer rang to say that the quote inside the card had really helped her through the difficulties she had been going through. How do you help your customers through difficult times?
Silvia Parnaby, Cluster Sales Executive Marriott International Hotels –
Theresa, a valued team member at Marriott Hotels returned a teddy bear by post to a little girl called Lara, one of their young guests. Teddy was left at the hotel by accident following an overnight stay. Theresa ensured that Teddy had lots of fun at the hotel while he was separated from Lara. He worked out in the gym, helped in the kitchen, had tasty snacks and even took a snooze. This was all captured on camera to reassure Lara that he’d had a fun and fabulous time. Lara and her family were blown away by this. I am! Do you have any examples similar to this in your business?
Wowing your customers becomes easier the more you do it. It should be unconditional, unexpected and happen in the moment. These are the stories you should share when you talk about what you do. How you and your people behave is your business differentiator. It's why people choose to do business with you and significantly impacts upon their loyalty.
Your customers will never forget how you made them feel and your team members will want to evoke this feeling of pride time and time again.
If you have a story to share, have any questions or would like any help, please do get in touch with us.
Your people are the best marketing opportunity your business has. Help them to become great ambassadors for your business.