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Stepping Up Your Game Doesn’t Have To Break The Bank

How customer-friendly would you say your business is? In 2016, it’s safe to say that every business under the sun is faced with an overwhelming amount of scrutiny from customers and non-customers in the face of online rating services such as Yelp and TripAdvisor. They're not going away, either. There are countless emerging rating systems such as TruRating, it appears that this scrutiny is not going away. With the reinvention of word-of-mouth in the form of ratings websites, business chains are spending stupendous amounts of money on ways to offer “experiences” and like all things, it’s getting a little bit ...well, fake. Why not stand apart from the competition in small, simple, thoughtful ways such as having a little bowl of sweets by your till? Our favourites, by the way, are Chupa Chups Lollipops. Perfection!

Is such a small gesture really enough to offer a great customer experience though? Well, no. Of course, the tenets of customer service still indeed have to be followed. That's obvious. But combined with your staff’s normal, charming selves? It can be a great way to offer a laid back customer experience that shows that the store cares, but isn’t fake or overblown.

An example of a customer incentive going a little bit too far is a certain chain coffee shop which requires that all of their baristas know a customer’s name- in order to write them on their cups for the sake of showing that they care.

Gestures are nice. They're often a way that a customer can feel valued, but when they're overdone, these gestures can feel completely fake. Most customers don’t exactly expect their name (often spelled incorrectly) to be put on their cup. Not unless they’re buying multiple coffees, anyway. Good customer service isn't about having protocol conversation starters. It's about starting a conversation fluidly, and naturally.

An important point is that staff morale can go down very significantly when they’re forced to remember names when it's not unusual for them to serve upward of 1000 cups of coffee a day.

That’s not to say that we’re against customer service. Of course not - We just feel that good customer service doesn’t have to involve somewhat awkward forced interactions. Customers want and now expect to be appreciated, and companies that take the time to spend an extra moment or two to thank their customers are doing it right.

Anything such as a simple thank you will suffice, or even a bowl of chupa chups lollies to choose from can often make them feel special without any awkwardness and without gimmicks.

Image Credit: Violet Payne | CC BY 2.0

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