If you want to attract customers then you must have something that pulls customers to you. If you happen to be in the business of selling fine chocolates then good service is necessary but insufficient.
In the fine chocolate business the ‘product’ matters. By ‘product’ I mean both the quality (taste) of each chocolate and the range of chocolates. It is the ‘product’ that calls the customer and pulls him back to your business – your store. I have witnessed folks put up with poor service just to get their hands on the ‘product’ at a competing brand.
So, it is the ‘product’ that Mary makes-sells that drew me the Mary store in the Royal Galleries (Brussels) last week. Yet, I am not writing this because of the ‘product’.
I am writing this as an expression of my sense of gratitude. Gratitude to whom? Gratitude to the two fellow human beings (Olivier, Eda? ) who served me. Language fails here: serve is not the right word. Yes, they provided service. No, they did not merely serve me.
What is it that made such an impact on me? Their way of being was professional yet human/warm/considerate. Clearly, they knew/cared about their ‘product’ (the chocolates). And, I was made to feel welcome. Yet, this is not it. All this is necessary yet not sufficient.
What really made the difference? Generosity. Olivier offered me several chocolates to taste whilst he was putting the selection together. Eda? offered me some chocolates whilst Olivier was working the cash till. Both of them were generous in dancing with the conversation that I initiated.
Lesson: If you wish to be granted a space in the hearts of your customers it is necessary to cultivate gratitude in the hearts of your customers. A great way to cultivate this gratitude is through generosity in your way of showing up and travelling in this world. Reciprocity ensures that most of us, most of the time, remember and repay our debts. The catch here is that the generosity must be genuine and not a technique for getting the better of your customers.
It occurs to me that the real measure of customer-centricity is generosity. Which is why so many large organisations struggle with the Customer thing. Interestingly, I have found Amazon to be the exception as I have experienced acts of generosity from Amazon. Each time those acts have left me feeling delighted.