6 Ways to Make a Customer Smile

Getting customers to feel favourably towards your business can be as easy (and as hard) as getting them to smile.  When people like you, they tend to be more inclined to purchase, and to purchase more.  They’re also more inclined to tell people about your business (in person or online) and become a loyal customer. 

Horsey SmileBut in today’s busy and often grumpy society, how do you cut through and get customers smiling?

  1. Surprise them with an Unusual Greeting…
    “Hi, how are you?” might as well be said by a machine. It’s not interesting and everyone knows that it’s the standard line staff are trained to say.  Instead, try getting everyone to make up unique and engaging opening lines.  How about: “I’m guessing you’ve come to see our brilliant new line of coffee machines – am I right?” or “Did you realise today is the 60th day of the year?” or “Let me know what you’re looking for and I’ll bet I can come up with something you’ll love”.  Challenge yourself and your staff to come up with your own versions.
     
  2. Give a Genuine Compliment…
    Everyone loves to be charmed so find something nice about the customer that you can comment on.  How about “I love your dress”, “fantastic tie”, “what a great colour – that really suits you”, or “what a gorgeous little boy / puppy – what’s his name”.   If you’re visiting your customer’s home, you could comment on something there: “fantastic couch!”, “you’ve done a great job with your front garden”, “I love the colour you’ve used here”.  Make sure it’s genuine otherwise the trust will be eroded.
     
  3. Throw in an Unexpected Gift…
    This is a sure-fire way to get a customer smiling.  Bring out some coffees out on-the-house, let the customer choose a scarf to go with their new outfit, give their toilets a free service after you install the hot water system, throw in a foot massage, leave a bottle of wine, or whatever suits your business.  The key is, it should be unconditional and unexpected.  (A fantastic restaurant I recently visited ended the meal by giving us a take-home kit with a recipe and ingredients to make one of their signature dishes – this gesture got us smiling instantly and left a lasting impression.)
     
  4. Follow up with Flare…
    Everyone likes to be remembered and keeping in touch with customers helps keep your business top-of-mind – but please, don’t be boring!  Do it in a way that cuts through the clutter of messages we all receive and brings a smile to someone’s face. Anthony Robbins talks about his “Alligator Letter” – which says something like “We hadn’t heard from you and wanted to make sure you hadn’t been eaten by alligators.”  How memorable is that!  How about making a personal call to see how their purchase worked out.  Or what about sending them a card with a voucher or discount to return again soon – tell them you miss them already!  Or how about emailing a photo of the customer’s order that’s been packed and is about to be shipped?
     
  5. Show Customers they Matter to you…
    Build in a feedback mechanism and let customers know that keeping them happy is the most important thing to you in the world.  Tell them you really want to know how you can improve and that their word-of-mouth feedback is the lifeblood of your business. One of the best ways to do this is by asking for them to review your business on WOMO.com.au as their feedback will not only make them feel important, but will also build on your online reputation and bring more customers your way.
     
  6. Let Your Hair Down…
    There’s a Vietnamese restaurant I know that’s famous for its fried banana and icecream desserts configured in the shape of genitals.  Typically people order this for someone’s birthday and the whole table giggles along as the recipient cringes, laughs, or laps it up!  It’s very memorable and gets everyone smiling.  The owner of another well known restaurant gets the whole place singing and following her in a birthday rant – it’s great fun.

Although it's easy to get caught up in the 'busyness' of life and the challenges of running a business, customers will gravitate towards the places and people that bring some warmth and fun into their lives.  So put 'have fun' on your to-do list for today!

Skyler

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