By Janice Bowers, Vice President, National Sales Group at Freeman
Recently, I went to a small, local bike shop to get my husband’s 20-year old bike tuned up and purchase two new tires. To my surprise, the owner of this family-owned business said the tires had another good year left in them and that he would just do a quick tune up for minimal cost. While he wrote up the order, I inquired about purchasing a bike extension for our 5 year old daughter. Knowing she wouldn’t fit in the pull cart anymore and may not last on a long bike ride on her own, this attachment would be the perfect solution for family bike rides. Again, to my surprise, rather than selling me a new one from his small shop, he quickly jumped on his laptop and searched Craigslist to find me a used one for less money.
And as promised, the bike’s tune-up was finished on time and the bill was less than the estimate. I was amazed. He didn’t want to sell me new tires or a new product. Everything he did in that 30-minute interaction mattered. He gained a new customer. Not based on the sale, but on the service. The experience he created was exceptional.
As consumers, when we choose to purchase a product or service, we expect a few basics to be provided. Maybe it is that the employees would be knowledgeable and pleasant, the product is of good quality, and the price is reasonable. It is a bonus, when these things are over delivered beyond our expectations. We don’t mind as much paying a premium when everything is exceptional.
In the trade show business, the decision of a general contractor is made by the show organizer. Whether the exhibitor spends money or not with Freeman, how we engage with that customer matters. How we answer the phone, how quickly we reply, how fast the empties are returned – all matter. Did we help find their freight, suggest a restaurant, ask how their kids are, and how crazy is this, did we suggest how to save them money on their next show?
Every interaction and every transaction we have with a customer matters. So, we strive to surprise and amaze them. Let’s over deliver and provide quality service beyond their expectations.
I am making a choice soon based on my experience with that small business owner from the local bike shop. I am buying myself a new bike from him and not from the big box store that is selling a cheaper one. With him, I will get everything and then some.
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Tags: Audience, customer service, customers, education, engagement, Face-to-face
This post was written by Freeman