Updated: Jan 23, 2019
The other day whilst buying my lunch at Pret A Manger I got rated (on what I think was a scale of enthusiasm) by the person I was served by - and rewarded with a free coffee!
I was of course chuffed to bits about being a 'good' customer, setting myself apart from other sleep-walking, 'transactional' zombie customers with my charming smile and friendly "hello" and it got me thinking...
In business we're well aware of the power of customer reviews and testimonials to create brand advocates and help prospects make the right buying decisions so we've become obsessed about being rated and reviewed at every opportunity. Customers are encouraged to fill in questionnaires, answer polls and set sliding scales at almost every touch point and, in some cases, before you've actually bought, experienced or committed to anything.
When was the last time you 'reviewed' your customers? What does a good customer look like and how can you get your customers there? Are these questions you can even consider about in a crowded, competitive market place of pressured sales and squeezed margins. Maybe, maybe not.
An interesting question that can, and should, be asked is, "how do we improve customer 'behaviour' in order to lower cost and/or improve quality of service delivery". This often flies in the face of businesses bending over backward to do things the customers way, as we know; they're not always right. How you're able to incentivise or drive this behaviour is dependent on all kinds of factors but one thing's for sure; I'm going to leave Pret a great review, thank them for my coffee and probably go back again soon. Best get practising my charming smile...