We recently stumbled upon the article Caring for Current Customers: Science or Common Sense? pertaining to customer service, focusing on not going by the book, but rather using your common sense when it comes to working with your clients. And we couldn’t agree more.
“The customer is always right” mentality may come with exceptions for some, but for us…it does not. At the end of the day, pleasing our customers is why we come to work every day and, let’s be honest, is what keeps us in business. Over the years we’ve learned this: if you treat your customers with respect and like they are people, not numbers in our order log, we will retain them. When something goes wrong, apologize. And fix it. And fix it quickly. A little bit goes a long way and we don’t think that a prompt phone call back, solution to a problem or saying the words “we’re so sorry” can happen enough.
Part of our marketing strategy is to know who our customers are. WHO is interested in promotional products and has a need? Who makes the decisions at a company or organization as to which supplier they will go with, and are we targeting those people accurately? At the same time, we literally want to know them. We want to greet our customers by name. If a regular customer came in to your facility, would you recognize them? Could you call them by name? All of us like to feel important; calling someone by name is a simple way to do it and lets them know you value them as customers.
For good customer service, go the extra mile. Include a thank-you note in a customer’s package; send a birthday card; clip the article when you see their name or photo in print; write a congratulatory note when they get a promotion. There are all sorts of ways for you to keep in touch with your customers and bring them closer to you. We don’t ever want to miss out on the chance to make a customer feel like they are valued and appreciated.