Is your customer service wonderful or just passable?
You would think that in tougher economies the art and skill of winning and engaging customer loyalty would be absolutely paramount to every retailer. Well, the reality is that most customer service is generally not wonderful, it's merely passable.
We have some clients who don't accept that the adage of "exceeding every customer expectation" is simply good enough and their mission is to deliver customer "magic" (and their reward system is closely linked to these examples of customer magic) or another of our clients whose cultural mission is to "lift the human spirit" through their service delivery and this too is part of their business DNA.
Recently, I ordered a product from a retailer who dutifully arranged the product and had it delivered to my address in a very efficient and pleasant manner. Now I would say that this retailer would be justifiably satisfied they had delivered great customer service.
I thought it was a good level of customer service, not wonderful, just okay... passable. The service was nothing more or less than this company's competitors could or would do (and certainly no more than an online ordering process would deliver).
Phoning me personally to advise me of delivery details, inviting me to join a loyalty club, understanding a little more about me, advising me of similar products and services and following up with a call to ensure that the product and service met my needs. These are all examples of steps to first-class customer service, service that their competitors do not offer, service that would encourage me to shop with them again.
They did nothing that would cause me to NOT shop their competitors in future.
Now I haven't written about petrol prices, inflation, budgets, consumer confidence, carbon taxes, etc. While these are no doubt real issues, they are somewhat beyond our everyday control. Rather than try to change the world, we can focus on changing what we do as retailers within the four walls of our retail shops to attract, engage and maintain a healthy and loyal customer base that goes well beyond exceeding customer expectations.
Happy "fit" retailing!