Want more loyal customers? Go the extra mile more often. If you’re having trouble coming up with original ideas of ways to go the extra mile, check out this list of our top 15 ideas!
15 Ideas That Go the Extra Mile for Customers
- Everyone’s got a stellar client or customer that is always a joy to serve. Get in touch with those people and invite them out to breakfast or lunch on you. No need to talk business–this is going the extra mile, not a sales pitch!
- Respond to customer inquiries and requests as soon as you get to them. The trick is to surprise your customers with the speed and efficiency of your response. Be friendly, be quick, and be happy to help.
- Be creative about keeping in touch with clients and customers. Try sending a newsletter every 3 months or so with business or news articles you think they’d like. Drop a line to say hello and check-in. Keep the lines of communication open!
- You knew this was coming: The handwritten thank you note. It’s a cliche for a reason! Customers love receiving handwritten notes from companies they do business with, and it makes you stand out from the other companies that don’t reply to emails, much less send thank you notes.
- Don’t wait for opportunities to keep in touch with your customers. They lead busy lives, and it’s your responsibility to stay in touch. Be proactive about your relationship by picking a few random customers to check in with each day–using a list so you know who you’ve called so far. They’ll appreciate your proactive service.
- Make it personal by calling your customers by name (if appropriate) and encouraging them to do the same to you. Ask about details they’ve mentioned to you–family, upcoming or recent vacations, hometowns, career, etc.
- Make smiling a requirement. You’d be surprised how much it matters to customers! Ensuring everyone who comes into contact with customers has a smile on their face is a great way to go the extra mile.
- Teach your staff about active listening, and practice it yourself. Active listening involves listening carefully to the other party without interrupting or disagreeing. Instead, respond by paraphrasing the speaker’s points and making it clear that you want to understand.
- Cross-train your staff so everyone is ready to answer customers’ questions. There’s no need to give extensive additional training to your employees, but make sure every team has a working knowledge of the tasks other teams do. When a customer service rep can confidently tell a caller that their antivirus software is available for Mac, Linux, and Windows, it saves time and benefits the customer. That’s going the extra mile!
- Make it easy for customers to deliver feedback. Many people are more comfortable delivering negative feedback anonymously (though not all!), so make that option possible. Ask your customers for their opinions through surveys, and offer prizes for those that participate.
- Make your customer’s promises. Don’t generalize–make specific promises to customers, like “I can assure you that your package will arrive on or before Friday the 25th. If it’s not on your doorstep by then, I’m giving you a full refund and a gift card for your trouble. We will make sure you are satisfied!”
- …But don’t make promises you can’t keep. There’s no quicker way to lose a would-be loyal customer! Put time frames on your promises, and be honest if you’re not sure about something. Customers want the truth, not a fluffy promise.
- Prioritize your customers’ time. You’re busy, they’re busy, and everyone is in a hurry. Make sure your customers know their time is your priority by making interactions quick, efficient, and painless. Don’t keep a customer on the phone any longer than necessary.
- Be generous to your most loyal customers. You can’t afford to give everyone freebies, but your most loyal customers deserve some special treatment. Reward them by offering a discount code, company jacket, tote bag, fee waiver, etc. They’ll remember and appreciate the gesture.
- Say thank you more than you think you need to. Thank them for choosing your business. Thank them for coming in today. Thank them for calling. Thank them for their comment or question. Thank them for their patience. Say thank you often to go the extra mile!