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APRIL 2012 issue of
Rental Management

At Your Service — Delighting Your Customers
04/06/2012

Many in the customer service business look for the “delight” factor in building loyalty, insuring repeat business and generating referrals. If you are on the heavy equipment side of rental, delight might not be a word that you use a lot, but the concept can be useful.

You want your customers to know how much you appreciate their business. You can’t take it for granted.

Think about those moments when a business that you use — a restaurant, supplier or retail store, for example — has delighted you. How did that make you feel? After that experience are you more likely to return or recommend that business?

So, what is your strategy for delighting your customers?

There is no one right answer and ideally, the strategy for delighting a customer should be tailored to that customer. However, here are some guidelines for developing your plan for wowing your customers with special service.

  • Your solution does not have to be expensive. It could be a follow-up phone call thanking them for their business, dropping off donuts at a job site or sending a thank you note. Sometimes it is the little things that make the difference.
  • Ask your staff members for input. Discussing how you can impress and thank a customer is a very good use of time. This helps set the tone for your customer service culture and will result in better ideas. Customer appreciation and delight needs to be a company-wide initiative.
  • Tailor your delight to the customer. This is not “one size fits all.” For it to be meaningful, it should be personal.
  • Be sincere. Whatever you come up with for your customers, deliver it with appreciation, not obligation.
  • Have fun with this. Build a unique twist to your delight strategy that will help customers remember and talk about you and your company in a positive way.

I recently was on a Delta flight and just prior to takeoff the flight attendant came to my seat, shook my hand, used my name and thanked me for being a loyal customer. This was so much more effective than the obligatory messages delivered over the public address system thanking frequent fliers. I was very surprised and impressed — two important components of delight. I didn’t expect this or any recognition from airlines and it did make a difference. The great thing for Delta is that it was effective and didn’t cost anything.

You are always looking for a competitive advantage and a way for you and your company to stand out. Delivering periodic moments of customer delight can have a lasting impact and help you recognize and build loyalty from your customers.

This strategy will result in your customers coming back for more and clearly establishing your location as their rental partner of choice. RM

Barry Himmel is senior vice president for Signature Worldwide, a Dublin, Ohio-based consulting company offering sales and customer service training, marketing and mystery shopping services for the equipment rental industry. He can be reached at 614-766-5101 or barryhimmel@signatureworldwide.com. For more information, call 800-398-0518 or visit signatureworldwide.com.

 

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