Many online retailers have an endless stream of gimmicks and promotions to hook the customer. But sometimes all you need is a little good word of mouth to help you gain the advantage.
Recently, my friends and I began seeing Lands’ End Canvas free shipping coupons in popular magazines. Intrigued by the possibility of a new line from this brand known for quality, and drawn in by the promotion, we went to their site and began to peruse their inventory.
After a few weeks, my roommate placed an order. Within two days she received a hand-written note in the mail thanking her for her order. Not only was she impressed that they had sent a note, but the hand-written message sent her over the top with delight:
“Great choice! I love all the pockets and hardware on this jacket – and the fabric feels perfectly broken-in. Please let us know what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org
Customer Care Specialist”
The specifics of the letter let my roommate know that this was not some manufactured letter sent out en masse, but that someone had actually taken the time to look at her order. The personalized attention increased Lands’ End’s credibility, made her feel secure in her order, and delighted her to the point where she became an advocate for the company, sharing the note with me and our other friends… all before her order had arrived!
Customer Care is a crucial part of any business. With the advent of the internet, advances in technology, and the push for ever-increasing levels of efficiency, customer care can seem like a lost art. That can make it a great tool in your effort to delight customers. Even traditional off-line business are rediscovering the value of customer care. TD Bank is emphasizing their human connection to encourage people to switch to their bank. Once a small community bank, TD Bank has grown to the national level, maintaining its small, personal feel by having a live person answer every phone call. (I can vouch for this myself, having called them recently to test this out.)
It can be a challenge for online businesses to maintain that kind of personal, human connection. We’ve all received the polite Thank You confirmation with our order, but by now, most customers know that it’s simply an automated response. Sure, the customer has already converted, but personalized attention on the back end of a sale fosters customer loyalty (think repeat purchases), and generates buzz (think customer’s friends becoming customers).
Not only do consumers have choices, but they often face more than one challenge along the path to completing an online purchase. Making your website easy to use and persuasive isn’t the only way to delight your visitors: let the ones who persist know that you appreciate their business. A little word of mouth can go a long way.