Most companies and employees know and follow the cardinal rule of customer service—be polite. But customer service can go much further than just a smile and a “thank you” to retain customers. One simple tip to follow is to use a positive tone. Again, this goes beyond general niceties. Instead of leading with a negative answer, it’s useful to flip it on it’s head. Instead of saying, “We don’t have any space available in that class but we have a waiting list,” employees can say “We’ll put you on the waiting list and let you know as soon as space opens in that class.” It’s a simple change of phrase that can go a long way in a consumer’s mind.
Another way to retain customers is with surprise and delight techniques that go a long way. For instance, it might mean giving a consumer a 5% discount on a monthly tuition if they pay early. Or, it might be giving a regular patron a cup of coffee for free on a random day of the month. These acts, though small, can add up in the consumer’s minds and change their perception of your business.
Finally, the most important thing any company can do is to act more human. If you think about the brands that people love, they all have a more human touch. Take for instance, Method soap vs Dial soap. The former has personality, the latter has its legacy. But both can take a human approach to consumer contact through emails that are written in a more informal tone to sharing photos on social media that are less product-focused. The human touch goes a long way with consumers.
By using these techniques, you can utilize your best asset more effectively to grow your company and reduce losing customers you have worked hard to obtain.