I have a friend that loves to get her hair done at a place where they give her a glass of wine and remember her name and things about her. I have another friend that loves a hotel because thy put a note in his room welcoming him, and invite him to a social hour.
The luxury market has known for a long time that making that making the customer feel important was essential to getting their business. Businesses selling higher end products and services know that their clients want to be treated respectfully, with enthusiasm, and like they are relevant.
Um…..don’t we all? Why should that be limited to the luxury market? There seems to be a belief that only people with money have those kind of wants and expectations from a purchase or experience. We ALL want to feel relevant and important. So why the heck can’t we?
Here’s a little secret. That kind of treatment costs little, and in some cases, nothing. Perhaps a front desk clerk at a nice hotel you frequent remembers your name, or a store has your product ready for you when they see you. These things don’t cost any more money. None. Maybe some training, but little more is needed than the desire to treat a human like they have relevance and importance, because they do.
The department stores in the large cities in the early to mid-1900’s that had their employees dress formally, treated the customers like they were the most important people there were, and catered to their egos and needs. At some point, those methods either became criticized for being to contrived, or fell by the wayside and got lost somewhere in the changing generations and culture. It seems that these days, only the high-end products employ this service culture, a culture that can, and should be enjoyed by all customers, regardless of what they buy, or where they buy it.
Serving someone is not a bad thing. It is not something that makes you a “Servant”. You are merely a person who can make someone feel relevant and happy with their interaction with you. Why wouldn’t you want to have opportunities to make people feel better about themselves. That stuff goes a long way, in the big picture, long after they walk out the door of your business.
For some of us, especially empaths, taking care of people comes quite naturally. But for those for whom it does not, it can be learned, and eventually become second nature. What makes you give return business to someone? Take a moment and write some of those things down, and read them back to yourself. These are the things your customers also want, so if you don’t already, give it to them. It does not have to cost more, but little things that don’t cost that much are received as having a high value in the total customer experience. That glass of wine that brought my friend back to the salon was two bucks at best, but it meant much more to her than what it cost them.
Do what the high-end market has done for decades. Individually treat your guests as though you couldn’t survive without them.
Because you can’t.