The little touches that add a lot of heart to busi...

The little touches that add a lot of heart to business

When it comes to business, the key factor that’s going to win most of your customers will be your unique value proposition. Do you offer something that your target market desires and do you provide it in a cost-effective way? However, the little touches that change how they interact with the business can make a huge difference, as well. Here, we’re going to look at not just specific examples of those little touches, but the overall themes of what drives better customer relationships.

Convenience and accessibility

The more barriers between your customers and your services, the less likely they are to convert in the first place. Even if they do, the experience may be so inconvenient that they won’t be quick to return. For instance, when it comes to online customers, then ensuring a good user experience on the website is crucial. Making navigation simpler, helping them quickly access their purchase history or shopping cart, and using breadcrumb navigation to help them see where exactly they are in the process can all encourage them to carry on with a purchase instead of abandoning the shopping cart. This applies just as well to brick-and-mortar retail businesses. Making it easier for your customers to navigate and see which products they’re looking for makes it all the likelier they will go ahead with their purchase.

Comfort and hospitality

For businesses that rely on hosting clients or guests, nothing is more important than the convenient little touches that can make them feel much better cared for and more comfortable. In hospitality and restaurant businesses, this is an essential part of business success. In the hospitality industry, this doesn’t only mean having coffee making facilities and easy internet access, but changes like commercial water softeners for hotels can offer customers value that they won’t be aware of until they know it. Thinking about not just their primary needs, but potential secondary needs can ensure your business stands up to scrutiny when they suddenly realise that they need that little bit extra.

Rewarding their loyalty

If you want to retain customers, few things help you achieve that better than fostering loyalty. Nowadays, it’s become very easy to offer coupons, discounts, and other rewards as part of a loyalty scheme. However, if you can make those rewards more personal, you can improve the emotional impact of them. For instance, sending a handwritten thank you letter with a delivery can make a customer feel much more genuinely valued. This loyalty is fostered outside of transactions, too. Interacting with them on social media, sharing and replying to their posts, can make them feel much more involved with the brand. You can turn a one-time customer into a returning fan in just a few moments, if you’re particularly lucky.

Hopefully, the examples above show not only some solutions you can implement into your business model, but also a broader strategic outlook based on “little touches” that can drastically improve the customer experience without needing to drastically change how you do business.

Christine Buske is a former academic who left science at the bench, and now considers herself a woman in tech. She is a frequently invited speaker, and enjoys talking about career transformation (particularly leaving academia for the business world), tech, issues around women in tech, product management, agile, and outreach. She is a proud Canadian resident, and qualifies as a "serial expat".

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