Knowing customers key to keeping them forever

by Ashvini on July 21, 2014 · 2 comments

in Business,Managing Customers

Recently I ordered an item from an online portal. When the item reached me and I opened it , I was pleasantly surprised to see something unexpected.

With every product that we buy, there is invoice and probably a manual on how to use the product. Here though there was something additional. It was a letter from the company head thanking the buyer for the purchase.

What’s so special you would ask ?

This letter was personally signed by the head of the company. That is what made it special. Even if we receive such thank you notes, they are kind of templatized, computer generated letters where even signatures are printed ( most often they are non existent).

Here that MD of the company took time to sign the letter speaks a lot about how they want their customers to think of them. By doing such a small thing, they have imprinted their brand image forever.

My favorite airline

Long time back there was an Airline in Indian airspace which provided great comfort, hot food and a few goodies worth taking home. They soon reached the top of the pack but later on due to financial issues shut down. The brand image indicated that customers were treated far better than any other airline would.

My website

This website is hosted on NameCheap. I have been to a number of hosts before I migrated my site finally to NameCheap. Others have done often some harm to my site ( for example by losing my databases, my emails , my accesses etc).

NameCheap offers only email based service but the kind of support that they provide is far better than those services which claim to be available on all channels yet provide good service on none. Since last three + months this site and another one has been running fine.

Customer service is not a very difficult thing to master.

Yes there might be incidence when there are mistakes on both sides,  leading to bad blood. But most of the time , customer service is about going that extra mile and making sure that customers are made to feel special. Maybe if possible by personal connections or creating personalized attention plan, each customer can be made to stay forever with you.

Each small thing that we do go a long distance in maintaining better relations with our customers.

Here are a few rules

  1. If possible maintain personal relationship with customers
  2. Create personalized plan for  each customer ( like loyalty coupons )
  3. Make emails, letters as personalized as possible
  4. Sign every letter to customer by hand ( not printed ) if you send them
  5. Listen closely and interact with them.

“Image courtesy of [89studio] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net“.

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{ 2 comments }

Daria Steigman July 23, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Hi Ashvini,

Love the personally signed letter. It’s always the little things that create brand evangelists, isn’t it?

I’m always a bit stunned at how poor companies can be at customer service. You’re right — it’s not difficult. But it does require a organizational culture that values people as people rather than just as numbers on a spreadsheet. And I think, fundamentally, that’s where some businesses fail. (Note that this extends to asking people to fill out surveys and rank they high, or review the product but only if you loved it, which is all about them and nothing about their customer. Ooh, I think I have a blog post to write!)

Ashvini August 26, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Hi Daria,

Sorry to be late on reply. Yes, customer service is not very difficult but the attitude it. Most of the time it is like , now I have snagged them, where else they can go. This attitude kills the reputation. Bigger business take time to fail but they fail nevertheless.
Thanks for your comments.

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