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Remembering Your Customer

The thoughts of Richard Osborne on many subjects over the years.

Remembering Your Customer

I had an enxperience last week that made me think I need to write about that in my blog, after all it has been a long time since I wrote anything on here! Then, again this morning something happened that re-enforced my thought. These events, I was simply remembered, and it made me feel appreciated and important as a customer.

Everyone will tell you the Customer is King, the Customer is Important, and all these other phrases where business mentors and advisors tell business owners to look after their existing customers but how many really pay attention to this? Honestly? I’ll give you the examples of this and how they made me feel as a customer.

Last week my car was due a service, so I booked it into the Mercedes Benz Garage where I’d purchased it from and they told me how long they needed the car for before asking what dates would be best for me. Sounds simple enough, and at this stage I didn’t think much of it but the consideration continued when I arrived at the showroom. As I walked in the salesman who sold me the car came over, greeted me by name and asked how things were. Now I’m by no means a big customer for them, and it’s been about 6 months since I purchased my wife’s car but he remembered my name and that made me feel special.

Yet it continued, as I was booking my car in at the service desk the guy behind the counter asked me if I would like a drink. Simple, but again important.

To cut the rest of the story short, when I went to collect my car it had been cleaned. I again was offered a drink when I collected the car, and two days after I’d collected my car I received a phone call to check everything went well with the car service and ensuring I was happy with the service. I’m not saying theyr ran around pandering to my every whim, but they were polite and considerate. The whole experience would encourage me to recommend them friends and colleagues, I’d happily be a free salesperson for them, and isn’t this what every business needs?

So what reminded me this morning? Again simply being referred to by my name, as I arrived at the gym this morning still trying to wake up at 6am. I arrived in the reception and my gym has just been acquired by Nuffield Health, and a new gentleman I’ve never seen before greated me at the reception. I gave him my card, he swiped it, and obviously my name must have come up clearly on his computer screen. He then did the most simplest but important of things, he said “Good morning Richard”. He engaged with me by simply using my name.

An old employer of mine ensured the receptionist kept a log of how visitors had their tea or coffee, so the next time they visited she would make their drink exactly as they liked it, and without having to ask them a second time.

Going back to the Mercedes garage for a moment, I need to tell you something else about their customer service, and I’m not really trying to sell them to you :o). When my wife and I visited the dealership to buy her car we had our two children with us, and two very young children get bored very easily. How did they ensure our children were entertained long enough to ensure they got the sale? They two unboxed a couple of toy cars from their display and gave them to the children to play with on the showroom floor, before the salesman engaged with us he ensured our children were happy. Now I knew right away his reasoning was to ensure he had our undivided attention to get the sale but I didn’t care, he was ensuring my children were happy and that made me happy, and I bought my second car from him in the space of as many months.

I guess my thought for on the last paragraph is, what is important to your customer? For me in that situation it was my children, do you know what is important to your customer and what you would need to do to engage with them?

Beyond everything else though try to remember your customers’ names, it warms them to you ever so easily.