If It Isn’t Customer Service, What Does Keep Customers Coming Back?
I recently went into my favorite sandwich shop for a carry out. As I was waiting for my order, I noticed that the owner had a t-shirt on with the company’s logo on the front. When the owner turned around, on the back it read “It ain’t customer service that keeps our customers coming back”. At first I thought I misread it. No that was what it said. Then I started to think. If it isn’t all
about customer service, then what is it that keeps customers coming back? Interesting, maybe there is more to repeat customers than customer service. Could it be there are more reasons why customers keep coming back; and if there are, then it would be important for a business owner to fine tune his or her business sales model so it meshes with their customers’ reasons for coming back. Well a number of things came to mind of why customers keep coming back.
1. You provide services or products at the cheapest rate in town. This works until someone else offers the same product or service at a cheaper rate. People buying on price alone won’t think twice about switching to another company and once lost you probably won’t get them back until you lower your prices. You better continually shop your competitors to make sure you continue to have the lowest price in town.
2. Your customers like you personally. A personal relationship with your customers keeps them connected to you. Make sure you maintain that relationship. Keep doing what you’re doing to make them want to keep coming back. Keep selling yourself to your customers.
3. You add value to a product or service that they can’t get anywhere else. Is your expertise better than other companies? Do you give better support or a better warranty? How do you add value for your customers? Make sure to stay on top of your product or service knowledge.
4. Your product or service is unique. This can be a great situation until some other company decides to compete with you. Then, if you don’t provide quality service you can lose those customers overnight. Make sure to stay on the cutting edge of the product technology or service quality so you maintain that “uniqueness” factor.
5. Your customers perceive your service or product as superior. Maybe you’ve done a better job marketing. Maybe you communicate the features of your product or service to your customers better than your competitors. Continue to stay on top of the way you communicate and/or market to your customers. Keep them informed.
You may not think customer service is the main reason customers keep coming back. However, you do need to figure out why you have the customers you do. Knowing that fact can help you fine tune your business model. Do you provide a low cost alternative, a unique product or service, or value added products or services? Whatever it is, you need to figure out what it is you give to your customers that keep them coming back. Only then can you understand why you have the customers you do and what you need to do to keep them.