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Marketing / Customer service

Good customer service tips that work

It's a marketing no brainer, but I was recently reminded of the remarkable effectiveness of good customer service.

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I am someone who takes food seriously. I love cooking almost as much as I love eating. As a result, finding a good food shop is my idea of a thrill. It’s sad but true.

There is one deli, for example, that I can’t get enough of. This is in spite of the following:

1. It’s not particularly local. This from someone who usually cares about shopping locally. To make up for this, I try and tie in other things to do in that area when I feel the urge to go to the deli. I did say it was sad.

2. The range is not exclusive. I know I can pick up much of the food it sells elsewhere.

3. Its prices aren’t knockout. I’ve seen cheaper Parma ham around, but still the deli represents great value to me.

So if it doesn’t win on location, produce and prices, how does it have the edge?

"I love cooking almost as much as I love eating. As a result, finding a good food shop is my idea of a thrill."

They have good customer service and are just so darn thoughtful.

For example, customers waiting at the deli counter are always encouraged to sample various cheeses, olives and so on, so that when your turn comes, you end up taking a spoon of this, a wedge of that. Gets me every time, anyway.

Want more articles like this? Check out the  customer service section.

Secondly, more often than not the man behind the counter throws in a handful of extra sausages for nothing. This makes me inordinately thrilled, although I know deep down they’d only ever give away the ones they’d plan to chuck at the close of business.

Thirdly, on a recent trip I couldn’t decide what coffee beans to buy. One of the staff recommended a particular brand, then whizzed behind the shop’s coffee counter to make me a cup to sample. Once again I was sold.

This kind of approach to good customer service may seem overwhelming, but the fact I have never felt pressure to buy shows they’re striking the right note.

Every one of these gestures costs very little, yet must work wonders for business. Marketing efforts don’t have to be expensive or extravagant to be appreciated, just thoughtful.

So what are you doing in your business that works…or what could you be doing? Maybe you’ve witnessed actions that have really made an impression.

Share your good customer service tips and discover what others have to say below.

 

Sam Leader

is a former director of Flying Solo and the co-author of Flying Solo - How to go it alone in business.

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