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Giving the Gift of Great Customer Service
By Lydia Ramsey

Do you find yourself on a constant search for innovative and creative ways to thank your customers for their business? What is the perfect gift and when is the ideal time to give it?

During the holidays, everyone is flooded with food, flowers, cards and calendars from vendors of all sorts in an effort to show appreciation and keep good customers coming back. Do you think that if you start earlier in the year pondering this issue that you’ll come up with just the right thing that will wow your customers?

You don’t need to. The perfect customer appreciation gift is right under your nose. It is simple, easy and costs you nothing. You can give it every day without any extra time or effort, and everyone will love it. People will tell their friends; and since they will want it, too, they will become your new customers.

Have you figured it out yet? The perfect gift you can give every day to any one who walks in your door is great customer service.

So what do you actually have to do to offer stand-out-from-the- crowd customer service? Here are a few simple, but winning tips:

Smile. This will take a few folks by surprise, but they will most likely return the smile.

Make eye contact. Looking at customers when you greet them has a remarkably positive effect.

Call people by name. It makes them feel valued.

Be respectful. Don’t use first names until the customer asks you to.

Remember to say, “Please,” “Thank you,” and “You are welcome.”

Pay attention to what people say and watch their body language to see how they are feeling and reacting to you.

Show an interest in people. If your customer mentions he needs that item before taking the family to Disney World, make a note, real or mental. The next time he comes in, ask about the family vacation.

None of these suggestions is unique. It is not as if no one ever tried them before. Its just that so few people are doing these simple things that if you do them, people will notice. The next thing you know, you’ll have to hire more employees and get a larger space to accommodate all of your loyal customers and your increased business.

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Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette expert and the author of Manners That Sell. She conducts presentations for organizations that want their employees to be at ease in business situations and to represent them well in the marketplace. You can visit her website:www.mannersthatsell.com and sign up for her free monthly newsletter at :http://lydiaramsey.com/signup/index.html.

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