Do you remember the Memory game? Players lay cards placed face down on a surface and two cards are flipped face up over each turn. The object of the game is to turn over pairs of matching cards. It takes concentration, attention and memory skills. I was at Lowe’s recently and saw a sign that reminded me of this very game but with a real service twist.
The sign appeared at checkout advertising the retailer’s My Lowe’s Card. “My Lowe’s remembers so you don’t have to.” This loyalty card keeps a running tab of each purchase you make and for anyone who does a lot of home projects, that shopping list can be a lifesaver.
Many companies today offer frequent shopper or loyalty programs. Most are free to customers and provide various perks for purchases. What got my attention with the Lowe’s is a customer service principle that great organizations do. When remarkable service takes place, the business completely takes care of the customer. With the My Lowe’s card, customers don’t have to worry about tracking brand names or part numbers for purchases they have made in the past. The company takes care of that. And in that approach some really great customer service principles emerge:
#1 Great service happens when you really know your customer
Let’s face it customers today often don’t have time to waste. They want a “one stop shop” experience if possible. While your business may be able to provide many products or services, your knowledge of the customer allows you to offer it at the right time and place. What does that mean? Strive to learn everything you possible can about your customers and their needs. Why do they like your product or service? How do they use it? What is one thing that would really “wow” them with your goods or service? Why do they choose you versus someone else? And the list goes on and on. The more you know about your customers the more your employees can serve them.
#2 Every team member contributes to the customer experience
It is rare that a business provides a service or product that no other organization can. The differentiator will always be in the service – how customers are treated each and every time. One “bad” experience from one employee will often be remembered above five positive ones in the same visit. Consistency is tough but is the #1 job of leaders. Never assume your employees know what or how to take care of customers. Their decision to choose you is intentional. Your service must be as well.
#3 Great service creates repeat business again and again and again
Customers have choices. They make a conscious decision to do business with you. The experience you create with every customer interaction influences the customer’s choice to return. So let’s do the math. If a positive experience occurs each time you interact with the customer and they return each time, you are a building an extremely powerful relationship. When they CHOOSE you EACH time, your business grows. If EVERY experience yielded this result, where could your business go?
Yes, I have a My Lowe’s card. And when I’m ready to tackle that Saturday afternoon project, that’s where I will go to get started. It’s a choice and it’s an easy one because of my experiences with them. What decision are your customers making? I hope it is you.