Editor’s Letter: A Personal Touch
I recently had two experiences as a consumer that initially left me less than satisfied. In one instance the perishable products I bought were prematurely spoiled and in the other it was completely void of the actual advertised product.
Seeing as I’m not Donald Trump and generally like to get what I paid for, I contacted both of the companies with my complaints. After a little bit of back and forth on details, both companies promised to send me compensatory coupons for free replacements of their products.
That would have been enough for me, but when the coupons arrived they included a handwritten note that apologized for my inconvenience, assured me they were looking into the issues and invited me to contact them at any time in the future should problems arise.
In an age of electronic communication, I found the fact that they took the time to hand write the note to be an impressive gesture. While I would have continued to buy their product anyway, going the extra step and personalizing the experience went on to seal the deal for me.
What does this have to do with you? Everything, in some ways.
The key to great customer service and retention isn’t just righting a wrong, it’s letting the customer know that you care, that you’re always aiming to improve your product, that you see them as more than a number and that you provide something other stores can’t.
Sign the bottom of a receipt. Stick a note in a customer’s bag with a random coupon. Send out cards to people after an event to thank them for their business and learn the names of the faces you see in your store.
In today’s electronic world — and one full of purchasing options — you have to show them you have the personal touch, and it’s as simple as signing your name.