Tuesday, 20 May 2014

7 steps to inspire customer loyalty - effortlessly!

My shoe shop called last week. When I tell people, they look at me as though I'm the only person on earth who has a shoe shop. I look back as though I can't believe that they don't have a shoe shop.

My shoe shop is a peek into the relationships I have with businesses with which I deal regularly. These are successful and mutually beneficial relationships. I've been reflecting on what makes them tick. I think the elements are transferable to other situations. It doesn't matter if it's shoes, clothes, electronics, stationery or personal services.

divacultura's 7 principles of customer service to inspire loyalty

1. My first experience was great. I still remember that Alice served me and I bought a pair of long black boots and a pair of red heels. To put this into perspective, my first visit was at least seven years ago.

2. My first experience was so good, I went back. Alice remembered me. She didn't remember my name without a prompt, but she remembered our interaction.

3. Third time through the doors and the staff recognised me and greeted me like a friend.

4. Sometimes I wander in, not necessarily with a view to buying, but with a view to looking. The staff are happy to play if it's not busy and are happy to bring me shoes just to try. Quite often they surprise me with something that I had overlooked on the shelf, but loved on my feet.

5. Even if it is busy when I go in, I never feel rushed and feel like I am being paid full attention.

6. We trust each other. Last year there was a mix up and an extra pair of boots I already owned was put aside under my name and marked as "paid". Rebecca called to find out when I was collecting them. I already had my boots and told her there had been some error. In that split second I realised that I could have just said that I would be in to collect them "tomorrow" and scored another pair of boots. That's not how I roll and I know my honesty was really appreciated.

7. Rebecca knows what I like and keeps an eye out for things that might appeal to me and then gives me a call. There's no pressure. It's a friendly call and I find it helpful.

They followed me home.
© 2014 divacultura
When I look over this list, it's not rocket science! These are easy things to do and they have an impact. I only buy shoes there now. Actually, I'm a very loyal customer. Once I find somewhere I like the people, they like me and I like the product, I will stick with them forever. Notice how the product is the third thing in the list.

I've even considered whether these principles apply in the online retail environment. They absolutely do. (I'm thinking about my favourite online clothing store, Birdsnest.)

Where do you like to shop? What keeps you coming back? If you're in business, does your customer service inspire loyalty?

"My" shoe shop is called Sole Devotion. I was not asked or provided any incentive to write this post (other than being inspired by great service!).

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