One of the best things you can do to get customers to come back to your business is build a relationship with them. The easiest way to do this is to just have a little small talk with them while they are doing their transactions with you. There are many different general topics you can choose from, but each visit that relationship can grow as you spend even more time getting to know your customer.
A very talented customer service representative can remember a customer who they helped before and bring back up the topics they were discussing when they were in the visit before. By remembering what the customer was discussing with you before you make that customer feel as though they are more than a patron at your company, they are someone you value and are almost a friend to you.
Some general topics to get the ball rolling in this direction are to ask what the customer is doing later, compliment them on something they are wearing or have with them that you think is great, or ask them what the weather is like outside. These small, but useful tools will help you to develop a foundation when talking to a customer. The conversation easily flows from there into a more established conversation and eventually into a relationship.
So as managers, what can you do to help your representatives become more comfortable with this type of customer interaction? First, be that example that they want to follow. Do the same thing with the people you are helping, so they in turn see how easy it is. Then from there, make sure that you continually coach them on how they can do better and remember to tell them how they already did well. This leadership will be very helpful in bringing in new business and bringing your customer service to a new level.
Photo courtesy of Disney/Pixar