Customer service isn’t just about reacting to what the customer wants. Anticipating a customer’s needs is as important as reacting. Knowing and understanding your customer’s preferences before they buy allows you to create an even stronger experience.
Some hotels have a way of tracking their guests’ likes, dislikes and requests based on their past hotel stays. A server at a restaurant recognises a guest and asks if she wants the “usual.” The salesperson at a retail store calls their customer to let him know his favourite clothes are on sale. The travel agent who books vacations knows the type of hotel his customer likes to stay in, his favourite airline and where he likes to sit on the plane. These people and/or businesses know what their customers like – and dislike. In other words, they know their customers’ preferences.
While knowing a customer’s preferences may help sales, you must also look at this as a customer service opportunity by adapting to these likes, dislikes and any special requests a customer might have.
For example, an auto repair centre may stay open later at night or on the weekends to accommodate their customers’ work schedules.
Zappos.com really understands customer preferences. They are considered an Internet retailer, until you need to talk to someone. Then they quickly adapt to their customers’ desires to talk to someone on the phone. They even put their phone number on virtually every page. While Zappos.com may not know the specific preference of an individual customer, they know very well about how their customers like to buy and are willing to adapt to how an individual “prefers” to do business.
Adapting to customer preferences is about giving the customer what they want, the way they want it, and being easy to do business with. And, that has everything to do with creating “Customer Amazement.”
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