With social media and communication channels at our fingertips, and quick and easy online shopping overtaking in-store shopping, businesses are revamping stale tactics to retain customer loyalty and find new audiences. There’s a lot to be learned about exceptional customer service from industry titans who are adapting to this culture and succeeding. The tactics of these three companies can work for small businesses passionate about improving service through positive change.
Personalization Pro: Ritz Carlton
Customer experience standards and service expectations are changing as consumption trends shift. Small businesses can really take notes from the hospitality industry as a whole—it’s built on tailoring customer experience for ultimate comfort. Room service. Chocolates on the pillow. Greeting guests by name during check-in. These details go a long way and originate from company cultures that emphasize personalized service.
The Ritz Carlton incorporates personalized service into its training DNA, with a focus on building a rapport with guests and going the extra mile in making their stays comfortable. Personalization isn’t just about meeting the needs of customers, but rather about making customers feel special. The big takeaway is that customers are not transactions.
Convenience Pro: Amazon
Known for its large variety of products—from clothes and gadgets to housewares and food—Amazon holds the top spot for a convenient shopping experience. In addition to its expansive online catalog, Amazon proudly offers subscription services, automatic renewals, online streaming, and of course, free two-day shipping on most items with an Amazon Prime membership.
But with every business, issues can arise with any aspect of a customer’s experience. Maybe the product is out of stock. Perhaps an item hasn’t arrived on time. No matter the issue, Amazon takes swift action. With a handy help center available on their site 24/7, customers can report their issues and an Amazon representative will reach out with solutions—such as expediting the shipping of a replacement item, and remedies—like savings vouchers for a future purchase.
Amazon’s success is built not only on making the customer’s shopping experience convenient but also on being generous and courteous to keep customers coming back for more.
Community Engagement Pro: Wendy’s
Truly connecting with your customers in the social media era can be overwhelming. There are so many distractions across platforms, and it seems that all businesses—including your competitors—are on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It’s vital for businesses, especially small ones, to carve out space and bring a fresh voice to the fray.
Take Wendy’s, for example. Famous for their never-frozen burgers, this fast-food chain made a big splash in the Twitterverse with their witty interactions with customers. They’re also sort of famous for “roasting” fellow fast-food staple McDonald’s. Using the tools provided by those social media platforms, Wendy’s forged direct communication channels to their audience and got attention by trying out a new branded persona. This company’s social strategy is proof that experimentation can lead to great customer-business interaction.
Change isn’t always a bad thing. Businesses can take change as an opportunity to innovate practices and discover new avenues to reach and connect with customers.