Something I’ve noticed we could all use some help with during this Covid-19 season in regards to customer service, customer experience and customer retention is what I call the 4 F’s – first, friendly, firm, future.
I want to say there is an order to this customer service suggestion. My wife and I recently travelled for the first time in a very long time. We flew, we rented a car and we stayed at places for the first time and what we experienced was “firm” first. And that set a really uneasy tone for us. How we were treated really sparked my message to you today.
The first point is “first”! When we think about people’s first impression, first experience, first thing they see, first thing that they feel, first thing that impresses them about your business — what is that?
How are we making a great first impression in a COVID-19 world? In a world that has changed and dramatically impacted people, have you gone back and thought about what is the first impression that somebody gets when they interact with your business? How does it make them feel? What are they experiencing? How does that impact them as a customer and what are they thinking? Or, how did that affect them and they aren’t a customer anymore?
Point number two is “friendly”. I bring up friendly as point number two to ask you if your first impression is friendly. People do business with people that they like and trust. We have to be friendly first. Be happy, excited, greet them and welcome them. Ask how you can help them and start to build a positive friendly relationship.
So we have the first impression, and then we have friendly as the second word in this teaching.
The third word is “firm” because we have regulations. We have people we have to think about. How can we be firm about being healthy, safe, social distancing, masks, washing hands and all the protocol?
Remember, I said before that when we travelled we were given the “firm” treatment first and it left us feeling not so great. So, firm is making sure that after we make a great first impression and we’re friendly, then we can be firm about following the rules or regulations so that we keep everybody healthy, We keep them safe and protected. But there’s an order to doing this well so that we can get to the fourth word, which is “future”.
What I mean by future is, if we are making a good first impression with customers (whether online, in person, at a drive thru, or whatever it is), we’re friendly towards them, and then we’re firm about keeping everybody safe (our employees, our people, our customers, our vendors) — then we can do what we call the “future”. Which is we create an experience, a situation more in the future where they will want to come back and be a customer again and again and again.
So these are the four F’s of customer service that we believe work towards creating a repeat great customer experience.
Once again the four words to remember in this order are:
- First stands for first impression. What is their first impression? What do they first see, experience, hear or know? Is that positive?
- Are you friendly? Is your first interaction with them friendly? Are you speaking to them as a friend? Are you creating a friendly environment?
- Number 3 is new to us all but part of what we’re living into now is being firm. Being firm about the rules. Meaning, we all have rules now that we have to adhere to around safety and health and all that. We’re all about that. So how can we be firm is the third part of the equation.
- And then the fourth thing is how do we leave an impression with our customer so that in the future when they need our product, service or our experience they come back to us? Will they think of us first? We need to be all of the above – first, friendly, firm and future in order for them to come back. People always ask me how do we get repeat customers? It’s fairly simple: you say thank you and acknowledge them for coming in, you’re excited that they’ve been there, and you invite them back to your business again.
If you apply the 4 F’s it will improve your customer service and retention not only in this Covid season but in the future too.
At Confidence Coach we are here to offer business owners a place to reconnect and rebuild their confidence; which leads to their better future in the days and years ahead. Reach out today and schedule a free call if you’d like to talk. We are here to help and encourage you.