In an age of faceless internet transactions and computerized phone menus, is looking your customer in the eye before offering an old fashioned handshake a dying art? Some customers would argue it’s no longer needed, while others wish for the days when an old school touch was not only offered but expected.
Your customers come in both varieties, so how do you keep them coming back?
At a minimum you’ll need a quality product that meets their needs at an affordable price, but that is just the beginning.
Despite the demands of modern life, many old school touches are still quite effective. Your customers want to feel valued, they want to be catered to and they want doing business with you to be quick and convenient.
As with fine food, presentation is critical. It doesn’t matter how delicious the meal is if the food is haphazardly slopped onto the plate and slapped down in front of them. Presentation counts, even if your company motto is ‘down home cookin’ or ‘just like Mom used to make’. You’re not Mom, after all. You’re an entrepreneur trying to attract their business.
To paraphrase Micah Solomon, customer service consultant and author of High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service, customers don’t really want a true touch of home. What they want is all the good memories associated with being at home, but without all the fuss and mess.
They will also want whatever you have… fast. As the pace of modern life has picked up and we've become more immersed in technology than ever before, customer expectations for timely delivery of your product have increased. Where once a customer might have been perfectly content to wait several weeks for the arrival of a custom made pair of shoes from the cobbler, they now want that pair of shoes to be waiting at their door the next day.
Since no company or service will be perfect all the time, customers will also expect a quick, simple, and stellar resolution if things go wrong. They will expect you to not only solve the problem, and solve it with style, but to also be caring. Empathy counts almost as much as presentation.
In the end, if you’ve effectively provided the old school touches, you’ll have the most valuable advertising of all: word of mouth. With the advent of the Internet and social media, word of mouth can be your best friend. It’s gratifying to have happy customers coming back time and again. It’s even better when they bring their friends.