The same applies when they buy from you. They want the same experience as last time. You must have done a great job because they’ve come back! It’s now time to repeat exactly what you did so that they come back again.
How consistent is your service? Are all of your employees following an identical process? Or, were you giving a little something extra a few months ago but have now stopped?
A teeny weeny bit of inconsistency can upset someone’s experience. Even your loyal, repeat customers will feel let down if you miss something.
Here is just a snapshot of the businesses that have lost my custom over the last few years because I am a creature of habit:
1. Car Servicing Business. They used to vacuum the inside of my car as a little extra and then stopped.
2. Electrical Store. On one occasion after making a purchase, they gave me a small box of chocolates. The next time, I didn’t get any (even though I spent more money) but witnessed another member of staff handing out a box of chocolates to another customer. I was livid.
3. Newsagents. The previous cashier used to put a stamp on my children’s hands when we went in there. The new cashier doesn’t.
4. Burger Restaurant. When they first opened, they handed out activity cards to the children. When they ran out, they never got any more printed.
5. Hairdresser. She was in too much of a hurry on one occasion to give me the regular, complimentary head massage. Need I say more?
This is not an exhaustive list by any means. There are several more instances in both my personal and business experience where an inconsistent service has sent me looking elsewhere.
These are the little details that make a big difference. People get excited when you provide a little extra value or go the extra mile. Keep them going, be consistent and establish a system so that when your customer returns, they are not disappointed.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/deerwooduk/