Serve Your Customers When They Are ‘Hungry’

I learned an important lesson early in my marriage: Never buy groceries when you’re hungry. With an empty stomach sending seductive messages to my rational brain, it ensured there was no governor on my “impulse-buy-button.” And, I was likely to bring home Braunschweiger, champagne-flavored mustard, and fancy olives–items inappropriate for a starving grad student budget that only permitted baloney and yellow mustard. But for the local store, it was perfect timing for its customers like me to window-shop with a grocery cart.

Timing can be a powerful feature for customer attraction. My PR team suggests my monthly e-newsletter be launched on Monday morning at six in the morning. A restaurant near my office has big discounts for lunch in the middle of the week—their slow time during the week. My plumber is available to do repairs on the weekend; but, his hourly rate jumps up 50%. Call tech support early in the morning and you are rewarded with a five-minute wait instead of 30 minutes.

The lives of customers have ebbs and flows impacting their receptivity for your offering. It is more than selling guidance, it is also service guidance. The customer eager to buy a present for a child or grandchild is impressed by the service person who can get in the mind of an eight-year-old. The hotel clerk who spots shiny new wedding rings on a couple checking in on Sunday evening ramps up guest loyalty when suggesting the honeymoon suite at a slightly higher rate since it is available.

It takes attention to detail and a willingness to flex to respond to the “hungriness” of customers. Keep your eye on the timing of service and use that insight to tailor-make your response. Who knows, they may come back to splurge for more “Braunschweiger” instead of settling for “baloney.”

One Response

  1. You are absolutely correct! Adding the extra “value” to service at just the right time and create lifelong customers by making them feel special and important

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Dr. Chip R. Bell is a world-renowned authority on customer loyalty and innovative service. Global Gurus ranked him in 2018 the #2 keynote speaker in the world on customer service; #1 in North America. He also is the author of numerous national and international best-selling books including Take Their Breath Away, Managing Knock Your Socks off Service, Magnetic Service, The 9½ Principles of Innovative Service and Customers as Partners. His books have been translated into over a dozen languages.

His newest customer service book is the award-winning, best-selling book Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles.

Dr. Bell has appeared live on CNBC, Bloomberg TV, CNN, Fox Business, ABC, CBS, NPR Marketplace and his work has been featured in Fortune, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, and Fast Company.


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