Teaching employees to offer to go the extra mile for customers is a smart way to give better customer service without necessarily increasing costs. The extra mile is not a new concept in customer service, but it is an important one.
Who doesn’t have a great customer service story about someone who went above and beyond to make sure you were satisfied?
Going the extra mile is one of the absolute best ways to improve your customer service efforts and start turning more customers into loyal customers. Customer service and the extra mile are becoming more and more synonymous.
Customer Service and the Extra Mile
Doing a little extra for your customers creates a positive memory of your company in their minds. That makes them more likely to choose you the next time they need a service or product you provide – and more likely to become loyal customers. It’s an example of the Halo effect (read more about this psychological phenomenon here).
Offering to go the extra mile for customers won’t necessarily increase your costs, though certain accommodations might. Not every customer will need or want anything extra, but simply offering it is enough to make your company stand out in their minds.
Some companies don’t openly advertise their willingness to give a little extra, but will offer it without issue to anyone who asks (a 2nd basket of bread at a restaurant; chopsticks instead of flatware; asking for fresh items at a fast food place).
Allow staff to come up with customer solutions
When employees are sincerely involved in finding ways to help, they will usually be successful. Taking a proactive approach is the key. If employees are trained to seek out ways to solve a customer problem rather than simply consult a handbook for the correct response, that means more employees are willing to go the extra mile for customers. That creates more satisfied customers that remember an employee going out of their way to resolve an issue they were having.
Additionally, you better engage your employees and help them feel appreciated in their role, creating more loyal employees that will stick around for years and do more than is expected of them.
Ways to go the extra mile
Here are some ideas of ways to go the extra mile for customers. Find a few ideas you can implement today and start going the extra mile for your customers!
- Customize a solution just for them.
- Spend more time than required to resolve an issue they’re having.
- Offer a discount or account credit.
- Send a get well, sympathy, or congratulations card with signatures of employees.
- Send a handwritten thank you note.
- Give a gift certificate or gift card for customer anniversary milestones.
- Respond to every comment and suggestion on social media in a timely manner.
- Respond to every review posted about your company online. Offer to make things right if it’s a bad review.
- Consider hiring a social media manager to respond to comments online if they are frequent.
- Promote your clients’ businesses (if applicable) on your website, blog, and social pages.
- Apologize sincerely for any negative event your customers experience when working with you.
- Create more customer service channels for ease of access – contact form, email, phone, live chat, etc.
- Send a loyal customer bonus – clients who’ve been with you for 1 year get 10% off, etc.