Don’t you just love it when you open up a gift, and it’s perfect for you?
It feels really good that somebody’s gone to the trouble of finding something that they knew you’d love.
You’re delighted that they paid attention to something you happen to have mentioned in passing.
You’re touched that they’ve gone to so much trouble to find the precise thing you’ve always wanted.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could leave our team members or customers feeling that way about what we give them?
Last week I wrote about the new John Lewis Christmas advert and how it prompted me to think about 2 things which are important factors in creating a service culture.
The first of these was emotional triggers and anchors, which if you missed it you can read here.
The second one was how often we focus on the cost of something rather than the value it brings.
I see the underlying message of the advert is that it’s not what gift you give or how much you spent on that gift, but what that gift can mean to the person you give it to.
So, how can we apply this principle in the context of creating a service culture?
As human beings we all like to be appreciated!
But there are many ways we can show that appreciation. It’s not about how lavish the gift, in fact it might not even be a tangible gift at all.
Ongoing, simple but sincere gestures – however small – that demonstrates your gratitude will certainly contribute to your team’s and your customers’ loyalty.
Here are a few ideas to show employee recognition and build customer loyalty:
- Help people celebrate: Something that seems insignificant to us might be a big deal for a team member or customer. Share in their excitement. What can you do to help them celebrate their special day or achievement?
- Make them smile: In the same way you might share a joke, compliment a friend on their new shirt, or point out something fun, it might just be something we say or small gesture that really makes someone’s day. Spot opportunities to bring a smile to someone’s face.
- I saw this and thought of you: Remembering an interest, a hobby or a project they are working on. And when you see something or meet someone related to it you make a note and send them over an article, buy a magazine or introduce them to someone who shares their passion. So long as it’s relevant, well timed and personal.
- Remember people’s like and dislikes: People feel touched when you remember their likes and dislikes: their favourite foods, favourite colour, or simply the way they take their coffee. Never under estimate the impact when you remember someone’s preferences especially when they aren’t expecting it.
- Spot opportunities to Give Little Unexpected Extras: Doing something spontaneous when you know the other person will appreciate it.
For example, for a customer finding something they’ve mentioned even though it’s not something you normally stock; gift wrapping or packing something with a personal touch or greeting because you know it’s their birthday.
For team members, letting them leave early because you know it’s their partner’s birthday, their children’s sports day, or tomorrow they leave on a holiday of a lifetime.
- Creating Magic Moments: Identify the little finishing touches that you can give to leave people with that wow factor. Picking up on an earlier conversation you’ve had that enables you to give a customer a personalised memento of their visit.
What is there that makes your business or offer unique, that others might enjoy taking home or share with others to create magic moments, not just for your customers or team members but their families and friends too?
- Generate ideas. Challenge your team to come forward with their own ideas – If they were a customer coming to your business what little touches would they love that would make it memorable or extra special for them?
Ask them to imagine they had a magic wand and had all the time in the world, and a limitless budget… this can give you insights into what they might like too!
What can you give that can turn an average day into an amazing day for your team or customers?
Value, not price
A present should not be about the best or the most expensive thing. It’s not about the money, but about the thought that has gone into it. So that it means something to the person you give it to. This might be to delight, inspire, excite or simply make them feel special or valued.
This privilege shouldn’t be reserved for customers. If you make your team members feel special or valued they’ll do the same for your customers.