Updated: Feb 17, 2020
I’m guessing that you started your small business because you wanted more flexibility and freedom and you thought that you could offer your customers something valuable.
That something of value could have been a material object or an idea.
Whatever your motivation was, here you are at the end of 2019, looking toward 2020, and perhaps wondering how you can make your business special for the next decade.
Bottom line: You can develop a kick-ass strategy, create an awesome marketing campaign, and continue awesome innovating with your products or services. However, if you don’t excel at customer experience, your business will exist at the mercy of your competitors, both large and small.
Why is customer experience so vital? It comes down to what Maya Angelou said.
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
She was absolutely correct in her perception!
The irony of focusing on customer experience is that small businesses:
1. Have the potential to create customer experiences that outshine those of large businesses
2. Can frequently create a memorable customer experience at little to no cost
3. Will have guaranteed growth by delivering a stellar customer experience
Customer experience for a small business can be as simple as remembering a customer’s name and what s/he likes.
I worked in my family’s restaurant during high school and university. When the holiday season rolled around, I worked in the coat check room. In a single night we could have hundreds of people coming in for drinks and dinner. One of the first things they did was drop off their coats, and sometimes hats. I would ask their name and repeat it. I asked if there was anything special — a particular kind of hangar, front of the closet, kind of fold (for scarves and capes) — they wanted for their item(s). I made a note and gave them a claim ticket.
When the customers arrived at the coat check before leaving for the evening, I greeted them by name and before they could give me the ticket, I had their items on the counter! They always smiled and left me a great tip. I found out later from my uncle that many of those “first time” holiday customers returned later the next year.
Treating these customers as valuable, remembering their names and their items, cost me (and the restaurant) nothing, but it meant the world to those people. For five minutes they felt special and they didn’t forget it!
You can do the same thing with your small business. You can design a customer experience that will have your customers feeling special. Further, they’ll remember how you made them feel and become loyal customers.
Want help designing a stellar customer experience for your business? Let’s talk!