“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop
What do you do in your business to not just keep customers coming back, but also turn them into raving fans? When you think back on companies you love doing business with, and rave about to others, is it a big thing they did or small, unexpected acts of kindness that made the difference?
We have a concept at ActionCOACH called Critical Non Essentials – CNE’s. The idea being that it is the small, unexpected things you do to show your customers that they are important to you that make all the difference. The key to a powerful CNE is not how much time, money or effort you spent, but how closely did you listen to your customer.
Some examples of CNE’s are:
- Birthday cards – Are you keeping track of important details about your clients?
- Tickets to events – Do you know what your clients’ interests are?
- Gift Certificate for lunch at their favorite restaurant – Do you know what restaurant that is?
- Unusual holiday recognition – have you gotten any April fool’s Day cards? Would you remember someone who sent you one?
- Anniversary cards to celebrate the anniversary of doing business with you – I received a happy birthday card to my car recently from the dealership!
- Actions work too – walk someone to their car holding an umbrella on a rainy day, host a small reception at your business just because, etc.
- The list is endless.
If you have a retail location, what types of CNE’s do you provide to show your customers their comfort matters? Do you have comfortable seating? Do you offer them a cup of tea, a glass of water, or a little champagne while they wait? Is your store clean, attractive and welcoming? The customer may not always consciously notice when the environment is welcoming and comfortable, but they sure notice when it’s not. What kind of impression are you creating?
The simplest of all CNE’s is your own attitude. You must act as if your customers are the most important thing. They are, right? You need to be friendly, attractive and pleasant. Learn to be polite and listen when they talk. Show them that you really care. You also need to present yourself in a professional and appropriate manner. Dress appropriately for your business. Be sure you clothes are clean and neat. Be sure your hands are clean, your hair is brushed and you’re your teeth are clean and bright. All these little things do matter and it may be the difference between you and your competition.
Now, more than ever these small acts of kindness can really make you stand out from the competition. Keeping your name and a (positive) image of your company in front of the customer goes a long way. It goes even further when so few people are doing it.
This week why don’t you challenge yourself to choose a couple of your best clients/customers and do some small act of kindness for them?