Imagine the last time you were at a restaurant where you thought the service was alright. We could define you as a satisfied customer. However, would you describe yourself as a loyal customer to that restaurant? Probably not. What does it take to differentiate your business from the crowd and create those returning loyal customers?
Customer service has the least effect on a customer when it’s just ok. The customer will forget about it very quickly. The only two forms of customer service that has a substantial effect on the customer is the really extraordinary service, and the absolute bull-poop service. Most businesses fall into the middle category of unremarkable service. Whenever you deal with a customer and you meet all their expectations, all their needs are fulfilled and they leave satisfied, they will quickly forget about you.
Now imagine you go to one of your many local mechanics for an oil change. You drop off your car, run some errands and come back to pick up the car. You pay for the oil change and start driving home. You notice the mechanic has not only changed your oil, but your interior is cleaned, windows are cleaned, and your whole car has been washed. You did not ask for this service, and neither did you pay for it. How would you feel?
Exceeding the customer’s expectations has a very strong and lasting effect on loyalty and repeat business. The trick is to identify any expectations you’ve already set, and go the extra mile where it’s less crowded.