One of the easiest and most effective ways to win your customers is to surprise them. No, not by jumping out from behind a fixture and yelling, "Boo!" That does surprise them, but it also might give one of them a heart attack. That's bad for business.
I'm talking about surprising your customer by doing something nice that they didn't expect. Since the customer has zero expectations the surprise is a huge WOW that makes a lasting impression. That's good for business.
Some employees are very good at surprising their customer, but the best companies make it part of their overall experience/service strategy. It's also part of the job expectations.
Wouldn't it be great if an associate had both a sales goal and a surprise/wow goal? Now the staff would be looking much harder for ways to surprise their customers.
What are some ways the staff can surprise a customer? I'm sure you see plenty examples from your staff every day. Things like:
* Offering the customer a drink or something to eat.
* Entertaining a customer's children.
* Getting a chair so your customer can sit down.
* Calling a competitor's store to see if they have a product in stock.
* Offering to call the customer when something comes in.
* Asking if he/she can carry a purchase to the customer's car.
* Sending a thank you card.
* Walking from behind the counter to hand the customer their purchase.
You're probably thinking that the items on this list aren't a big deal. You might be wondering if these actions really do surprise your customer. I think they do. Remember, the staff at most stores don't take many of these actions that you do for your customers every day. They are a simple but pleasant surprise for shoppers when they encounter them in your business.
But don't stop there. There are opportunities to raise the bar and find even more distinct and personalized ways to surprise your customers. A few examples I've seen include:
* Offering to pay a customer's parking or add money to their meter.
* Leaving the store to purchase a customer's favorite drink.
* Sending a follow-up card or note card based on something the customer said.
* Clearing snow off customer cars in the parking lot.
This list is just a starting place. If - and only if - the company makes it a priority, a dynamic and customer-focused team will find many more special and fun ways to surprise their customers and exceed their expectations.
So let me ask, is your team using simple surprises to win customers and maximize opportunities?
Doug Fleener is a proven retail and customer experience expert that helps companies dramatically improve their customer experience and their results. Visit our website or call Doug at 866-535-6331 to discuss how he can help you create an extraordinary experience and results.