How do you make your small business customers feel welcome? For me, it’s always about the little things. The things that take minimal effort but still have a huge impact.
Yesterday I had a few minutes between meetings so I thought I’d take a quick walk around the block. That’s when I noticed a line forming on the sidewalk. I stopped to see what all the excitement was about.
It was “New Comic Book” day at Phantom of the Attic Comics—the one day of the week when they roll out their latest assortment of comic books. And just after 1pm, I witnessed something as welcoming as it was awesome.
Holding the door, one of Phantom of the Attic’s employees gave each and every person a warm hello, a quick pat on the back and a “Great to see you!” as they entered the store. The gesture probably took at most 20 seconds and best of all—it didn’t cost them a penny!
What a difference it made. You could tell by the smiles on their collective faces. Their customers felt welcomed. And that means they’re going to keep coming back.
As I stood back and watched it all play out, I couldn’t help but think about the fundamentals of great customer service that are so often neglected by businesses of all sizes. Things that are totally free and incredibly easy to implement.
- Make eye contact
- Say hello
- Look excited and interested
- Refer to them by name (when possible)
- Take that extra second or two to hold the door open
If you have the right team in place, you’ll be able to create a customer service culture in no time. If not, look for those same traits as you interview new candidates.
You bust your butt to get your customers to your front door or to your website. The last thing you want to do is miss out on an opportunity to win them over by making it appear as though your employees are disinterested.
When you take the time to do those little things, your customers will feel welcome—and that always goes a long way towards building a loyal following.
How do you make your small business customers feel welcome?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
By: Shawn Graham
[Image: Flickr user Daniel Oines]
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