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Going the extra mile, giving the additional effort is the way to excel in business, life or school. It’s not about doing more than what is needed from you; it’s about giving more than what those around you expect. Whether you work harder than others doesn’t matter in itself. What matters is the positive reaction that you receive from giving extra. From a business perspective, this means that you need to forget the essential WIIFM question – What’s in it for me? _ and play the long-term game. Going the extra mile is the key to success in the business world, but it’s not a phenomenon that has clear and immediate results. So, it appears, therefore, important to highlight the different ways in which giving a little more of your time, energy, and attention can create a positive Return On Investment.

The extra mile

Happy Employees = Happy Customers

Steven R. Coley suggests treating your employees exactly as you want them to behave with your best customers. In other words, your team matters as much as your customers. Indeed, while it may seem easy to assume that every employee can be replaced, in truth each employee should feel indispensable and valued. Whether you work in a service sector where you are facing customers, or in a sector where you may not need to face clients, what keeps your company alive is the fact that customers are buying. For their purchase to be a successful and positive experience, you need the team to care. At the core of it, caring about your employees is a long-term strategy that brings motivation to the team and the desire to give the best possible output. In short, if you care about your team, they will care about your customers. If you don’t, two things will happen: It’s likely that you will spend a lot of time and money in recruitment; and, on another note, your employees’ unhappiness will affect the customers.

Share Your Customer Service Values With The Whole Team

Naturally, not every role in the company is in a customer-facing position. While the team who deals with customer complaints and queries is trained specifically for it, it doesn’t mean that the only contact point goes through the customer service center. Customers may need, for a variety of reasons, to get in touch with a technician, the accountant, or even the marketing team. You can’t train everyone to know how to engage with a customer, but you can make sure that everyone in your company shares the same values. Often, when a customer gets in touch with the company, it’s to solve an issue, whether technical, delivery-related, or financial. Therefore the team needs to know how to empathize with their issues and persist to get everything sorted. At any level in the company, people who are passionate about what they do and who want to improve their output are you best allies to deal with customer-related issues.

The Free Gift That Boosts Loyalty

When a customer receives a delivery, the experience they have with your brand can be positive, neutral or negative, whether the delivery exceeds, meets or misses their expectations. Naturally, you can’t control everything in the process of shipping and delivering, but what you can do is find a cost-effective way to build a relationship with your customers within the package. For customers, it’s called a free gift. Businesses prefer to talk about package inserts. Customers of big brands, such as Amazon, are used to package inserts as a cross-selling opportunity. But they don’t realize that an insert can dramatically increase their loyalty by making them feel special. Commonly, retailers like to insert discount offers – such as 20% off the next order – to encourage customers to purchase again. But there are other ways to use package inserts, such as adding samples to introduce your customers to new lines of products. Other businesses prefer to add a little gift – a small bag of candies is always a hit – to surprise their customers with a sweet treat. Whatever you choose, making your customer feel special establish a positive relationship that will transpire in future purchases and online reviews.

You Are Still Responsible For The Delivery

With more and more businesses selling only online, it can seem easy to assume that your work is done once the item has left the warehouse. In truth, as a business, your customers will hold you responsible for the delivery too, even if you work with a courier. Why do they do that? At a customer level, the interaction is minimum with your business: They clicked and bought. Now they rightly expect that you can fulfill your part of the deal, which is the delivery of their items. If your courier service is unreliable, this will not reflect badly on the supplier but yourself. A disappointed customer, whether it is with your product or with the courier, will stop buying from your business.

Go Green And Help Customers Do The Same

Trade shows and loyalty events are the ideal platforms for businesses to get in touch with their customers. Whether you are a B2B or B2C business, meeting end buyers is always a great experience. The best thing you can do is naturally to impress them with your knowledge of the market and to collect their feedback for future improvement. But you can also give them something to keep from the meeting – consider tote bags which offer a great alternative to plastic bags and are reusable. There’s a double advantage in providing your customers with a tote bag at the end of an exhibition. Firstly, this allows you to add all the marketing and commercial information that you couldn’t share otherwise. Secondly, with the cost of plastic bags, you are more likely to spot your customers walking to town with their new tote bag – and that means free advertising for your business.

Take The Customer Seriously, Not Yourself

Finally, it’s important to know when to be serious and when to entertain. If you are able to make the most of your communication without losing your cool, customers will form a positive image about your business. But it’s more than humorous messaging: Keeping a tongue-in-cheek attitude makes your business more likable and a lot more memorable to customers. In short, people who laugh, buy more often.

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