4 Easy Ways to Keep Customers Coming Back

All this talk about social media, mobile apps and strategic marketing plans might lead you to believe that customer service isn’t important anymore.

Not so, contends Micah Solomon, co-author of the book “Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit” (AMACOM, 2010). Solomon says good old-fashioned customer service is still the key to winning customers and keeping them.

The author offers four key suggestions to keep in mind no matter what kind of business you run.

Did you shine that doorknob? Research shows that customers remember the first and last minutes of a service encounter much more vividly – and for much longer – than all the rest of it.

Set your clocks forward: Modern customers expect speedier service than did any generation before them. A perfect product delivered late equals a defective product.

Remember each returning customer. Whatever your business, and no matter how large, work to achieve the computer-assisted effectiveness of a beloved bartender, doorman, or hairstylist – the kind who would know Bob's preferences, the name of Bob's pet, when Bob was there last. Superb client tracking systems can create that same "at home" feeling in your customers.

Don't leave the language your team uses up to chance. Develop and rehearse a list of vocabulary words and expressions that fit your business brand perfectly.