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Endear customers to your business with a service point of difference

Australia is not known for it’s remarkable customer service, which is why so many of us are shocked when we are greeted with some outstanding customer care. Here, MYOB’s Kristy Sheppard shares a recent experience that surprised her, and how this has endeared her to a business she wouldn’t normally frequent.

I had a fantastic customer service experience last weekend that I’m compelled to share. It’s such a great example of customer care, attention to detail and knowing your business’s audience.

I was shopping in the women’s section of a large store that features different clothing brands sectioned off almost as separate mini-stores. The intention of my wander was not to buy unless I found a terrific bargain on a piece of clothing I really needed.

I began to sift through the sale racks of a well-known Australia designer, looking at the prices and thinking ‘wow, this is a sale?! I am going to the Telstra Business Awards… maybe I can justify it…’ when after a few minutes the sales assistant approached me with a smile. Oh here we go, I thought.

The first thing out of her mouth was what seemed like seemed like genuine admiration for the simple dress I was wearing, which was actually a design from the same brand several seasons ago. This she recognised. (She didn’t know I had found for dirt cheap at the back of a discount factory outlet store)

Points there.

Then she asked if she could take the outfits I had picked up – all extra-discounted sale stock – and take me to their private fitting room when I’d finished looking, so I could miss the EOFY line-up. Ooooh, I thought, how fancy pants. Those dresses were looking more like possibilities. I might wander around and make sure I haven’t missed any others I could try on…

More points.

Then when I began to wander near the full price stock with no intention of grabbing anything she took me over to a dress that was similar in style to what I was wearing, mentioning how she had the same one and it was such a pleasure to wear… and did I want to try it on? No, well perhaps the longer version, then, as the longer style obviously suits me? All very natural-seeming, well-delivered remarks.

Extra points.

Oh alright then – I felt like I owed it to her because of her lovely, not-pushy attention. Now ready for my fitting room expedition, she stopped and pulled out the old clanger: ‘But wait there’s more attentive customer service for you, my special customer’ (not said but meant, of course!).

A sneak peek at next season’s line from the locked drawer near the register? Yes, please! In my head I’m thinking there’s no way I could ever afford any of what she’s showing me but how fantastic that I’m getting a look at something few people have seen. As we perused the look book my salesperson sister spoke of how excited she and her fellow employees were at seeing the season presented to them recently, and how she spends most of her wage on the clothing (oh dear?!), etc etc. Enthusiasm plus.

Bonus points.

Turns out the fitting room was semi-private – me and other supposedly more special potential customers from other areas. Fine by me, those EOFY lines are a killer. The dresses looked nice but I couldn’t justify it. Though I thought longer and harder about making a purchase there and then than I did with other more suitable, affordable dresses I tried on later.

Regardless, that didn’t stop me from thanking the salesperson profusely, actually believing she loves her job, thinking more highly of the designer and her business savvy in hiring great staff, and vowing to return with more dollars in my pocket…. Maybe next season.

What are you doing differently that endears your customers to your business?