Coffee at the BankBy R.O.B On January 26, 2010 Under Running Online Business
Let me tell you a story… it all began at my local Bank of America branch. I was there to open a new account with their institution because, after doing some research, I found that they offered some very appealing benefits and opportunities. I walked in the door and was immediately greeted by one of the tellers who was not assisting another customer. She was quite friendly and invited me over and inquired as to what I needed.
When I had informed her that I was looking to open an account, she asked me to wait while she ran and found the Branch Manager. He was very quick to introduce himself and begin addressing my inquiry. He motioned for me to follow him over to a surface which was holding a coffee pot and some various items such as creamer, sugar and stirrers. Immediately, he began to pour me a fresh cup of coffee. This was actually quite surprising to me, as I have never had such an experience at any other financial institution.
Bill, the Branch Manager, then lead me to his desk and asked if there was anything I needed before we began. Quickly enough, the process was completed and I had everything I came for. After leaving the bank, I was very much pleased by the situation as a whole. Let me break down exactly why:
1. I was greeted immediately upon entering the building.
2. The employees seemed genuinely interested in my well-being.
3. I was offered fresh coffee – a simple way of going above and beyond.
4. My concerns were addressed quickly and my mission was accomplished.
5. As I left, I felt comfortable with having to come back in the future.
At this point, you’re probably starting to see where I’m going with this post. This business went far beyond what they needed to in an effort to exceed my expectations by offering quality service and support. Ever since, I have remained quite loyal to this bank and speak highly of them whenever the subject arises. In return, they have continued the trend of great service and have even altered my accounts to specifically fit my needs and accommodate me as best as possible.
So, how does this relate to online business? In a number of ways! You need to provide your customers and potential customers with a fresh cup of virtual coffee. (Virtual coffee… could that be a caffeine boost for your computer? A quick burst of speed! Maybe I’m onto something here…) If you go above and beyond the expectations that they have, you will clearly be more likely to have them result in a conversion and remain loyal and profitable to your business.
Let’s revisit the 5 points I made above to help illustrate my point. You need to immediately make your visitors feel comfortable and welcomed when they access your site. They should never feel confused, lost or like just another number in your records. Make your website feel inviting, open and committed to the visitor. Next, ensure that they see this feeling to be genuine. There is nothing worse than a business putting on a fake smile to try and win you over.
Offer your visitor coffee – and by this I mean a special bonus for taking the time to stop by. It could be a free white paper or an e-book, or something a bit more unique. Think long and hard about what your customer would appreciate. You’ll also need to cut to the chase. If someone has come to your site to purchase a product, and they’ve already made up their mind to buy it, you don’t want to continually bombard them with additional reasons why they should make the purchase. Always offer the visitor the ability to stop the sales process at any time, and go directly to the purchase page. (For example, two buttons: Continue. Buy Now!)
Finally, you want your visitor to come back again. You even want them to go so far as to tell their friends, family and colleagues about your business. Word-of-Mouth advertising has been proven to be the most effective. Let them know that their business and time are appreciated, invite them to contact you with any questions, comments or feedback they may have, and end everything on a good note.
By learning from this story, and following the steps above, you can find a surefire way to improve customer satisfaction, increase your conversion rate, and find yourself pulling in a larger profit overall! Good luck.
Feel free to comment below and share your ideas on how to increase customer satisfaction.