Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that gives consumers an excuse to spend money on gifts for their loved ones, but it also gives businesses a reminder to show their customers some love and extra attention too. In the same way that you don’t limit your appreciation for your loved ones to one day, neither should you limit it to just one day with your customers.
Here are eight ways you can show your customers some love year round, while also improving customer engagement:
Ask customers about themselves
No matter what you’re selling, you can ask your customers about themselves. It’s a great way to get to know them better and show that you are interested in them as people, not as a sale.
- Start with ‘How is your day going?’ This is ever so slightly different from the more generic “how are you?” It encourages more depth to the response and begins a conversation.
- If they’re out shopping, ask what other stores they like: a customer’s favourite stores gives a quick insight into their style and preferences.
- Hobbies and interests: Ask them about their hobbies, or ask for recommendations of things to do in your area if there’s something specific that they enjoy doing.
- Family: If the customer mentions children or grandchildren, ask about them!
- Work: The customer might be buying something for their work or in their lunch break. The conversation may even lead to business-to-business sales.
Personalise the service
- Use the customer’s name and interests to build rapport.
- Compliment them on something (it doesn’t have to be what they’re wearing, it could even be the product in which they’re showing interest. “That’s a great choice, what would you use it for?”
- Look at past purchases for clues about what they like or dislike, then use that information when communicating with them in future.
Be there for them (availability)
Customer service doesn’t have to be 24/7, but it should be prompt enough to make customers feel valued when they go to the effort to get in touch. Make sure your team is ready to respond.
- Your website should be easy-to-use and have clear contact details for customers who want to get in touch with you via email or phone.
- Consider having a support team on hand to answer questions through email and your website in a timely manner.
- Make sure that social media accounts are active and respond quickly when customers tweet at them with questions or comments!
Thank them for their reviews or comments with a shout out
- If you’re running a brick-and-mortar business, consider posting a sign thanking customers for their reviews on Yelp or another review site. This can be done with vinyl decals or stickers that are easy to remove if you decide to change your mind later on.
- If you have an online presence, consider writing a post on Facebook or Instagram thanking people who left reviews and/or comments about their experiences with your company. You could even share the links or do a collage of the reviews.
Highlight a customer: share their stories of using your brand
If a customer takes the time to share their positive story of using your brand, highlight them (with permission) and delight in the free publicity.
- Share their story on social media.
- Write a blog post about them and share it with your audience.
- Include them in a newsletter, or mail them to customers who have expressed interest in your brand.
Send them an old-fashioned thank-you note
The personal touch is important when it comes to building relationships with customers, especially if they are giving their business to you over someone else.
- Handwritten notes help build trust and shows that you care. You don’t have to send a Ralph Wiggum-style “I Choo Choo Choose you” card; a nice thank you note would suffice.
- The impact of this gesture has long-term benefits, such as encouraging repeat customers, increasing customer satisfaction levels, and word-of-mouth.
Run a giveaway on social media
Customers love feeling like they are being rewarded for their brand loyalty, so offer your followers a giveaway. The most important thing to keep in mind when running a giveaway is that it should be relevant to your business and audience.
- Think about what people would want from your store or website.
- Try to work out a catchy slogan for the giveaway (check out Dymocks’ Free Book Friday).
- Make it a regular thing so customers know to check your posts often.
This is the simplest way to show your customers you care, but it’s also the most important. When someone remembers us, we feel valued and appreciated as individuals instead of just another customer on their list. If you have regular customers, encourage your staff to remember their names.
How do you show customers some love?
Ultimately, the best way to show customers some love is by making them feel special. You can achieve this through conveying interest in them as people, personalising communication, being available, showing appreciation, and remembering them. Have you found another way to make your customers feel valued and appreciated? Let us know and we might add it to our list.
You may already have one of these methods in place, or you may wish to roll them out to improve your customer service. Above Benchmark can help you with a custom mystery shopping program. If you want to learn more about our mystery shopping programs and how they can help your business, give us a call or contact us here.