I was recently reading a Forbes post by Micah Solomon which points to the importance of avoiding simple but critical language mistakes that often occur in customer service interactions. For instance, instead of an agent using terminology such as "You need to..." to a customer, a more appropriate and customer-friendly approach would be "We find it usually works best when...." Indeed, it's the little things that occur in customer interactions that can have a major impact on the customer experience.For example, be sure to refer to a customer by their actual name. My wife's name is Lauren. I wish I had a nickel for every time an agent or a customer-facing employee referred to her as Laura. If I did, I'd have a lot of nickels.
Whenever an agent or another customer-facing employee gets Lauren's name wrong, it sets a bad tone for the rest of the interaction. "I've been your customer for how many years now and you still can't get my name straight?" Personalization is one of the things that keep customers loyal to local retailers and restaurants. This person knows me and I feel like I have a relationship with them and their business.
There are also little things that customer-facing employees can do to make a customer feel special. A couple of weeks ago I had a follow-up visit with my doctor's office. Although I was there to see one physician, a physician's assistant who spotted me in the hallway pulled me aside to share the results of some recent lab work. Taking that extra step meant a lot. I felt like a patient that mattered to the medical team there.
There are lots of little things that can make a difference to a customer in their experiences with companies. Take the time to understand what those are and make sure they're not being overlooked.