One of the best ways to build trust and strengthen relationships with customers is to make sure every interaction adds value and meets their expectations. Each interaction should be like delivering a package or gift of experience. Wrap it up like the beautiful gift that it is and then put a nice, big, bow on top.
Every time we talk to customers on the phone, interact with them through email or meet face-to-face we have a unique opportunity to make a difference in their lives. Let’s seize these opportunities to show them how much we care and appreciate them by treating the interaction as special, valuable experience where the customer is front and center and has our complete focus and attention.
How many interactions do you and your business have with customers every day? Whether it’s ten, hundreds or thousands this idea of wrapping it up and putting a bow on top applies to all areas of the company where customer interactions take place. Service and Support organizations are great places to put this idea into practice because it’s where the bulk of customer interactions happen every day. It’s also the place where ongoing relationships are forged, strengthened and maintained.
“Wrapping it up” means:
- Making sure the issue is resolved and all questions are answered
- Tying up any loose ends and addressing any other items or questions
- Appreciating the customer for their business
- Thanking them for the opportunity to serve them
- Finding out if we met their expectations
- Asking “Is there is anything I can do to make your next experience even better?” You could easily insert “easier”, “quicker”, “faster”, or “smoother” in place of “better”.
“Putting a bow on it” means:
- Looking to see if the customer has any other open items or tickets and then offering to assist with those
- Asking “Is there anything else I can help you with today?”
- Think about your last experience in a restaurant. When it came time to pay the check, did the server just walk by and drop the check on your table and keep walking? Or, did your server stop by and ask about your meal?
Putting a bow on top takes the interaction to the next level where expectations are exceeded.
The server that just dropped the check on your table is comparable to a customer service rep closing out a service request without having a conversation with the customer. The server just “assumes” everything was great and that he/she will get a good tip. WRONG! A server who doesn’t have a conversation with the guest sends a subliminal message that he/she doesn’t care or is too busy to care. A simple conversation totally changes the message and shows the customer or guest how important they are.
Checking in with the customer during every interaction shows customers we care.
A server who is looking for a good tip and is proud of the experience he/she delivered will usually ask questions like:
- “How are you doing? Did you enjoy your meal?”
- “Do you need any drink refills?”
- “How about a dessert? We have a delicious….”
The server probably also said something like “I am leaving your check here, but please don’t feel rushed. I will be back in a few minutes to pick it up.” What this server is doing is “wrapping it up”. He or she is making sure you are leaving happy and full, and that you will leave a good tip and come back again.
That same server can take it to the next level and “put a bow on it” by simply asking
- “Do you need a to-go box?”
- “Can I refill that iced tea and put it in a to-go cup for you?”
WOW!!! That last question just elevated the experience to the “over and beyond”zone. Why? Because the server is now anticipating your needs after you leave the restaurant and he/she wants to play a part of making your life great today. This offer also sets the expectation for another wonderful experience at the same restaurant the next time you visit.
When we “put a bow” on every interaction it builds trust and mutually strengthens relationships.
The act of wrapping up each service interaction and putting a bow on top will yield several positive measurable results:
- Higher transaction survey response rates because the customers are more engaged and appreciative
- Higher transaction survey scores because the customers feel the caring and attention
- Improved Net Promoter Scores because the customers trust that we have their back and feel the partnership
The next time you interact with a customer, make that person the focus of your attention. Wrap it up like a precious gift. And then, with pride and care put a nice, big bow on top. Take your time. Make it a special, unique, personalized experience. Feel it deeply and let it show on your face. You will feel special, too, after you deliver experiences that elevate the lives of your customers and everyone around you.