Do you delight your customers?

Whether you run a flower shop, a cafe or a small professional consultancy, one common factor across all industries that determines business success is customer experience.

You’ve probably heard the saying that when someone likes what you do they tell one person, and when they don’t, they tell 10 people. Well, what if you could reverse that theory by taking advantage of a concept that’s very easy to apply in your business, no matter what industry you’re in?

The most successful businesses are those that pay attention to how their customers feel about what they do. Not just how they feel about your products or services, but the actual experience they take away from having dealt with you and your team.

Think about the last time you took the trouble to drop into your local store. In general, when you shop at a local business you’re made to feel like your business makes a difference to their day and they treat you accordingly. If not, maybe you should shop around! Compare that to the level of customer service we’ve come to expect from major department stores these days, where you can just about see the tumbleweed rolling down the aisles while you wait to ask a service assistant for help.

Businesses that are successful and continue to grow make their customers feel special. They give them the unexpected.

Businesses that are successful and continue to grow make their customers feel special. They give them the unexpected. It doesn’t mean you have to allocate a huge budget to customer relationship management. In fact, it’s usually the small things that have the biggest impact. These days, even a smile from the shop assistant stands out!

As a small business you have the advantage of flexibility and creativity when it comes to making your clients and customers feel special. If you walked into a patisserie that had gone to the effort of packaging up little morsels in cellophane labelled with the product details, accompanied with a sign  that stated ‘made with love, please take one’, how would that make you feel? You’d probably be inclined to drop by again and buy that morsel next time and hope that you’d get to try something else, wouldn’t you? And here’s where you get to reverse that theory about how far word of mouth spreads. When you delight your customers, they will tell everyone about how wonderful you are.

This doesn’t have to be time consuming or cost a lot of money. Designing and printing your own labels is easy and cost effective and doesn’t take much time to do. The extra hour you invest in going to this effort will be returned to you many times over with repeat and new customers dropping by to see how you’ll delight them next time.

The reason this is so much more effective than simply having a sampling tray on the counter is that your customers can see that you have gone to the extra effort to give them something they weren’t expecting, as well as increasing the number of people who will try that product because they can take it for later and even give it away to friends or family.

This concept applies to any type of business. You just need to find that one small thing that will make your customers feel delighted in a way they weren’t expecting.

Jo-Jo Burke, Product Manager, Avery Products