Maham Riaz (April 26, 2016)
There are scenarios where customers come for a product exchange or refund but have lost the purchase receipt. What is the best way to deal with such customers? Many businesses ignore the significance of providing exceptional customer service and end up losing customers to their competitors. Going beyond the expectations of your customers will win you brand advocates, who will spread positive word about your business. Going the extra mile for your customers will help you create brand affinity. It will give your customers a gesture that you genuinely care about them. Making an exception for your customers shows your commitment to customer service, that your business believes and strives to value customers. Giving your customers an exceptional and memorable service experience also distinguishes you from competitor brands. Here are some reasons why you should be flexible with your rules and policies.
In a scenario where you are closing the store and a customer comes in and asks for a product that he/she needs urgently, making an exception for that customer is likely to build and boost his/her trust in your brand. Making exceptions for your customers will help you build lasting relationships with them. Once your customers know that they can always rely on you, they are likely to stay loyal to you. If for instance you are delivering orders during holidays to prove to your customers that you can go an extra mile for them, they will always trust you and stay loyal to your business.
Customers these days are likely to share their bad experiences over social media. Same goes for a happy and memorable service experience. Therefore, making an exception for your customers will get you word of mouth referrals and is likely to strengthen your brand’s image. Instead of spending all your money on marketing and advertising, focus on giving your customers an exceptional service experience that will lead to customers sharing their experience which will lead to more customers.
If a customer walks into your store with a pet and you make an exception by allowing that pet in the shop, that customer would feel that you care about what matters to him/her. Customer care is not just about taking care of how customers are being served, it involves valuing what your customers want, empathizing with them in a way that they feel you understand their needs and emotions. Therefore, always give your customers a gesture that you want to create a comfort zone for them by valuing what is important to them.
Offering your customers exceptional service experience can turn out to be a competitive edge for your business. If you focus on building customer relationships, you can earn a distinguished position among your competitors. You can set a benchmark of customer service excellence that others can follow. While there are many brands that claim to have a customer-centric vision, there are only a few that are actually practicing exceptional customer service, so you can stand out from the competition by making amazing service experience a key differentiator of your business.
While every business endeavors to create brand affinity with customers, it comes down to if customers feel an emotional bond with the business. Just offering your customers quality products is not enough to make them emotionally connected with your brand. You need to give your customers a gesture that you can go an extra mile to make them happy and contented. Zappos, Ritz Carlton and Apple are brand names customers instantly associate with exceptional service. In order to build that perception about your brand, you need to prove to your customers that they are the most valuable asset for your business.
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