The gift shop was a great experience! Aubrey had bought items online from the shop for years, but she had never stepped foot in the store itself. However, when travel plans took her on a trip to new surroundings, she took time out of her day to go to the shop. Aubrey was greeted immediately by Willie, the shop owner. Her first words were “Hi, I’m Aubrey Matthews.” That’s all she had to say.
Willie was immediately excited, as he recognized the name and instantly knew that this was a long-distance customer. They had never met, but Willie was so excited to meet Aubrey face-to-face and to talk. They chatted and walked around the store together. Though Willie had never met Aubrey and never heard her voice, he instantly knew who she was – a treasured customer.
Willie cared enough to know Aubrey’s name, her preferences, her “story.” It made a huge impression on Aubrey, and Aubrey bought several items that day as well.
Now, what’s the lesson?
When you interact with a customer, don’t just think about their order or issue – think about THEM. Who is the person you’re speaking with – what’s their story?
When you complete a call or transaction, document some of the personal side of the customer (Were they rushed, emotional, have some upcoming event? What did you learn about them personally?).
When you then initiate a contact with a customer, don’t just consider the issue or service you’re going to discuss, consider the characteristics of the customer you’ll be talking with, as well. Don’t view it as “Company” and “Prospect.” View it as Willie and Aubrey.
Engage the customer as a unique individual.