This blog is a version of a story published here.
Can you ask your customers to visit again?
I just got back from a trip to Colombo, Sri Lanka. It’s a wonderful place and, admirably, one of the most hospitable places! Being a foodie and a beer lover, I got a lot of options to explore – from a Bavarian Bar to a Thai Restaurant. And, everywhere, I was pleasantly surprised by the service quality. One of the curses or blessings of being a customer experience professional is that I am also a keen observer of the experience I have at other places. Interestingly, I had several great experiences to cherish and one in particular to share as a CEx tip.
One day I was at the Barefoot Garden Cafe, where the waiters were all cheerful and friendly, the ambience just perfect for brunch, and the food nothing less than awesome.
The Barefoot Garden Cafe. Image source: tripadvisor
However, what I remember most warmly is the waiter genuinely requesting me to visit again when I was leaving. It was apparent that I am a tourist and I might not visit anytime soon, however this warm gesture was heartfelt and made me think:
How many businesses can really invite their customers to visit again?
For a company it is an incredibly powerful position: to be able to request their customers to visit again. And I don’t mean printing “Please visit again” on the bill, but being able to personally and sincerely invite the customer to do more business with the company. One ought to have delivered a great customer experience and have the confidence that they can do it again before requesting a customer for another visit. Some companies like Apple, Starbucks, Zappos etc. have meticulously designed the customer experience in such a way that people are drawn to their stores again and again. However, if a business falls short of delivering an amazing customer experience, it wouldn’t have the face to invite their customers for a revisit; that chance is just lost!
So, what is it that organisations can do to be able to invite their customers again and again? Here are a few simple tips:
Focus on the goal of customer retention
Coach your employees to deliver a great customer experience
If you fall short, learn how to improve by asking for feedback
Go the extra mile so the customer comes back. It’s totally worth it
An organisation that wishes to retain its customers and looks forward to doing business with the same customer should better give them enough reason to come back.
When your employees are coached to deliver a great customer experience, they get to feel the pride of standing in front of a happy customer and inviting that customer to visit again.
No organisation is perfect. Moreover, it is impossible to please every customer. But an organisation that stops seeking feedback and working on them, is sure the least favourite for customers.
With increasing competition and heightened customer awareness, organisations are grappling to win each customer. Indeed, organisations that go the extra mile, keep almost every customer they acquire; because such organisations know – it is cheaper to sell to a repeat customer than to a new one.
You might think I am talking just about restaurants and hospitality industry per se. However, being able to request your customers to buy more from your company has nothing to do with the industry. I believe it is a prerogative of every organisation to invite their customers to do more business but it’s only possible when the customer has had a great experience at the first place!
I know I am going to the Barefoot Garden Cafe when I visit Colombo again.