Wondering how to make customers feel special? Or better yet, why it’s so important?
I’ll start with the why, because that’s easy! Making customers feel special is crucial to retaining them. It’s the key to creating an experience that keeps customers coming back (and it makes them want to tell their friends!).
This is why “wow” moments are so important. When you “wow” your customers, it leads to repeat business and valuable word-of-mouth referrals for your business.
So, how can you create “wow” moments at your FEC? How can you make customers feel special?
Well, the first step is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. How do you want your customer’s want to feel when the visit your facility?
Do you want them to feel happy? Excited? Amazed? Jot down the emotions you want your customers to feel.
Documenting your vision begins with the emotions we just talked about. After all, studies show that, “Emotion is what really drives the purchasing behaviors” (Inc).
Document the emotions you’re looking to evoke, but don’t forget to survey your customers for accurate data. Ask your customers how they want to feel when they visit your facility and use that feedback to cater future customer experiences.
Next, create scripts for your staff to ensure that this vision is executed the same way each and every time. Think about companies like Chick-fil-a and Disney. They are both examples of companies that curate the same experience over and over again. Chick-fil’a’s mantra: “It is my pleasure to serve you” has become so well-known, that folks are even writing songs about it!
Set your employees up for success by providing a step-by-step guide on how to interact with guests and make them feel special.
And don’t forget to include guidance on how to interact with customers on Facebook and other social media platforms too!
Remember: write it down, live it every day, and hire folks into this vision.
Your VIP customers, or “regulars,” are the bread and butter of your business! Keep them happy and keep your business churning!
Since we’re talking about how to make customers feel special, your VIP customers are a good place to focus energy.
Meet with your staff to discuss the vision you documented and how you will make regular customers feel special. Be sure to get your staff involved! Ask them to help identify some ideas that they might have to achieve the “wow” factor.
Want to really wow your customers? The best way to learn how to make customers feel special is to listen to them! Of course, this starts first with active listening.
I also recommend putting together a survey. Ask your customers what they want and listen. Doing this allows you to really cater to your customers and make them feel valued. Don’t be afraid to ask, even if it’s for simple things.
Having a great team can make or break your entire business.
When your employees feel valued, they are going to brag about working for you. They’ll tell everyone how wonderful it is working for you.
But you don’t inspire employee loyalty solely from employee discounts alone. Treating them well is equally, if not more important. Thank your employees for working for you. Acknowledge them in front of others when you can. Of course, be cautious not to overdo it! You don’t want to appear fake or inauthentic.
Reward creative ideas from your employees and acknowledge them when they do an amazing job. Consider adding a section in your newsletter to recognize employees on a monthly or quarterly basis.
And of course, be sure to help your employees if you see them struggling in certain areas.
If you nurture your staff, they will go above and beyond for your customers!
From 2008-2014 I was the Director of Marketing and Events at a 55,000-
One day, before the day got busy, a mother and her son came in to play. Her son was in a wheelchair, and after the mother purchased a player’s card for the arcade, she pushed her son into the arcade area. The employee who sold the player’s card followed along. He asked for permission to carry the young boy through the obstacle course and down the slide before it got crowded. He continued to play a few games and interacted with the boy and his mother.
As their time in the facility progressed, the mother started crying. She said it was the best day ever!
Later that week she sent a thank you card to us thanking us for allowing her son to feel included. I proudly put it on our “wow” board!
It was a normal, busy Saturday. A party walked in and a very small, sort of nerdy boy named Kyle appeared for his birthday party. His mother looked worried. She said no one had RSVP’d for the party and that she had invited the whole class. She explained that they had just moved to the area, and he had only been in his new school for a week! So, she wasn’t sure if anyone would be able to make it for his party.
My staff immediately shared this story with me. So, we prepared for a “no guest” party! Two of our party hosts recruited two other smiling employees that were ready to celebrate, and we made sure Kyle had the best party ever!
We have all heard the Golden Rule: Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do Unto You.
Now, let’s also live by the Platinum Rule: Treat Others the Way They Want to be Treated.
Start right when they walk through the door! Welcome them by name as soon as they arrive. If Sarah, your VIP customers, looks a little stressed – bring her a complimentary glass of wine or her favorite tea.
Smile and acknowledge all your customers as they walk through the door!
And of course, personally thank customers for their business too.
If you take the time to “wow” your customers, you’ll create an amazing experience for everyone—your guests, your employees, and everyone in between!