As customers, especially when money is too tight to mention, we become just a little bit more demanding. I am finding myself when at a checkout or in a restaurant being a lot less patient with staff in these kind of establishments as I feel they should all be working harder to ensure that I come back.
I am a little bit old school in that way in that if I am eating out and the food misses the boat a bit but the staff have made my evening special by being attentive and efficient and made me feel genuinely welcome I will much rather go back another time because I have enjoyed the experience even if I can get better food elsewhere. I am the same in a supermarket and as much as my week’s grocery shop needs to be competitive it is also about how I am treated and whether the experience was stress free and the staff helpful and friendly.
Of course what constitutes value for money and a great experience for me may differ from what others think, but from a starting point of wanting a customer to come back some of these things have to be important to all of us.
In the car business everyone by now will be aware of this and I was heartened recently when a general manager was chatting to a customer and thanking him for his business. The customer happened to remark that although he had been offered a slightly better deal elsewhere he had decided that the sales woman who had been looking after him was so professional and helpful that it was worth the extra money for the peace of mind that this particular sales exec gave him.
This is not likely to sway everyone as every penny counts but it is a lesson to all businesses that making the extra effort to make the experience special may just get that extra car sold or workshop booking made and encourage that goodwill to be spread elsewhere.