There are many ways to try and win over a customer. You can try to compete on price. You can try to compete on quality and show the customer that your product will last longer. You can also try to be different with a brighter, bolder, newer, innovative design or approach. Or you can try to make a meaningful emotional connection with your customer.
I prefer the last option. It’s a long-term sales tactic and one that means something to my business and my customers. At Nic Harry we genuinely care about the way you dress and that you feel like yourself in our socks. We also care about your experience in our stores, on our website, interacting with the Nic Harry team and wearing our incredible product.
Making a meaningful connection with your customers is quite simple in theory, but it’s hard.
Here are a few things I suggest you start doing right now to become more authentic and make real connections that last longer.
Own the experience
Initially, Nic Harry sold socks online only. Then we started to stock our product in other retail outlets that we didn’t own. This was great in the beginning, but over time we realised that the other stores didn’t really care about our product, how it was displayed or how it was sold.
We quickly realised that we needed to remove our stock from retailers who didn’t want to build a relationship with us or our customers. We now have a much more streamlined list of stockists. We have also opened two of our own stores and are opening many more so that we can bring customers the true ‘Nic Harry experience’ in an environment that we can control.
If your product didn’t perform the way that it should have, admit it. If the service you promised wasn’t the service you delivered, give the customer their money back or try to make up for it. But don’t lie and don’t make excuses. You offered a service that they paid for and you did not deliver.
Apologise in a meaningful way
Another great way to retain a customer and turn a complaint into a sale is to apologise and actually mean it. It’s going to happen. You’re going to make a mistake, and when you do, you had better be prepared to apologise.
Here are some simple tips to better apologise to your customers:
- Don’t hesitate. If you’re in the wrong, don’t make the customer beg for an apology. Just say you are sorry.
- Don’t apologise for how they feel, apologise for your crappy product.
- Don’t read from a script. Teach your team that it’s okay to be sincere. They can be honest and open with the customer.
- Don’t over-promise. It’s fine to tell the customer that you need a bit of time to find the best solution.
Have an incredible returns policy
Customer service has become so horrendous that even the slightest raising of the bar can make a huge impression. When it comes to returns or reimbursements, don’t do the bare minimum. Your job should be to keep your customers happy, using your product repeatedly. If you get irate and frustrated with returns, you’re definitely going to lose a customer.
If you look at a return as a meaningful learning opportunity then you’re going to engage with the customer, learn from them, make them feel special and keep them around long enough to make it up to them.
Related: Customer Service Success Secrets
Talk to your customers like people
A great way to lose customers is to paint them all with the same brush and ignore that every situation is different.
Make sure to have policies in place that allow your team to talk to your customers like real people.
Ultimately, all we want as consumers is to purchase what we’re promised and be treated like people who spent our hard earned money on your product. If you ignore this simple fact you probably won’t retain many of your customers. Trust me, keeping a customer happy is much easier than finding a new one