By Rigor C. Arellano
You think your business is something special. You think it’s something else. Now make your customers feel the same way, and you just might turn Starbucks-lovers to your cafe’s.
“Do they feel appreciated? If not, they’ve got one foot out the door and lots of other options,” writes John Brubaker for Entrepreneur.com.
The award-winning author makes his case in point by showing what customer service advantage Starbucks has over other coffee shops: They show they care.
Personalizing the experience
For one thing, Starbucks affectionately calls their staff “partners.” And the staff are trained not only to smile at customers, but know their names, ask them about their day, or how their family is doing.
As evidenced by Brubaker’s own “conversion” story, a little extra attention and appreciation can do a lot. He used to be a customer of a cafe nearer his home. But according to him, the difference in treatment makes him drive past two other cafes just to go to his local Starbucks.
It’s because they make things personal, in a good way. They have invested in making their customers’ experience topnotch. And its long-term effect? Gained loyalty.
That being said, here are other ways to enrich customer experience and satisfaction:
Metal rules that rock
“Refer to the Golden Rule. At one point in time, we’re all customers. And when it’s our turn to be on the consumer’s end, how would we like to be treated?”
We’ve mentioned this in our previous article before and we couldn’t stress it enough.
As the priced metal itself, the rule has been something valued over the years by both people and businesses. Simply because it makes life easier for everyone else. It may sound cliche to others, but it is undeniable time-tested practice.
There is also what others call as the Platinum Rule.
“The Platinum Rule, which can be applied in communication, advises us to interact with people in the way they prefer,” says National Pen Co. CEO Dave Thompson.
One good application of this is to talk to customers using the communication platform they reached out you with. Use email when they emailed you; chat back when they chatted you; call them if they called you.
It’s about respecting your customer’s preferences, which rings back to our earlier discussion about personalizing experience, the Golden Rule, and well, to Starbucks.
The minute you enter Starbucks’ doors, you can be greeted by your favorite barista. And if you’re a regular already, they call you by your name, and ask you, “The usual?”
It feels good to be in a familiar place knowing that someone there cares enough to remember exactly what you want, while serving dozens more just like you.
Do the same for every single customer in your store, and you just might impress them enough to pick up their keys, don’t mind distance, and head your way.