For a small business, customer experience is everything. Whether you are selling products or services, the quality of your offerings is only as good as the customer service you give. This doesn’t just extend to how you handle things that go wrong, however. It extends to every step of the customer journey, from the minute they ‘meet’ your business, and it can make a world of difference to your growth. After all, happy customers will tell others about how great they think your business is, and word of mouth is worth its weight in gold when it comes to referrals.
What Is A Memorable Customer Experience?
A memorable customer experience is a level of service that goes above and beyond what is expected. For example, if somebody has a problem with your product or service, and they get in touch to have it resolved, surprising them with how effective you are is just one way to make your services memorable. Or, sending them a quirky unexpected gift with their order might make a memorable impression. Essentially, it is an experience that makes the customer feel like they’ve been treated specially. And it is possible to offer a memorable customer experience to every single one of your clients, without breaking the bank.
Where to Start
Setting out what your customers should expect from you could give you insight into how to make the customer experience more memorable. You list your terms and conditions will on your website and this is a good way to start. For example, if you have a delivery schedule which promises 4 to 5 days for delivery, but you always deliver between two and three days, this is likely to remind your customer that you go above what you have promised them.
Offering free shipping for special events is another cost effective method. This can remind your customers that you are there, and give them a little surprise at a relatively low cost to your business. Do keep an eye on your numbers, however and make it a strictly timed offer. If you offer free shipping on every order for an extended period of time, you will obviously start to feel the pinch.
The element of personalisation is useful here too. Identify cost-effective opportunities to make your customers feel more than just a number. If you can personalise inserts sent with your parcels, or e-mails sent to your service based customers, this is just one way to make them feel like more of a person than a client. The personal touch goes a long way towards building brand loyalty.
Another method that might be useful is to make your customers feel like part of an exclusive club. Offering surprised discounts, or members only events will give the customer the impression that they are a prized member of your business, which can result in a more loyal client. This can be as little as online forums to allow them to help you further develop your products and services (effectively free market research!), or free prototypes of new products for them to keep and review.
Don’t take it too far
One thing to remember with the customer experience is to keep the balance between cost effectiveness and ROI. Every customer deserves to feel special, but if you’re breaking the bank trying to achieve this, your efforts aren’t going to have much of a positive impact on your business on the whole.