Knowing your customers means more than knowing what they are going to purchase when they visit your store.
The ability to remember each customer’s needs is an art but, it is more important to know if the customer is a private person and doesn’t want you to notice or remember their purchases. You can lose a customer just as fast by remembering, as not. Some customers do not want to be reminded that they frequent your business so often the clerks know them by their name and purchases.
Informing a customer, that smokes, of a sale on his favorite brand of cigarettes might be the time he is deciding to quit smoking. The customer’s no smoking stress and mentioning the sale might cause for some very awkward moments. The same goes for alcoholic beverages. A customer realizing that you know what they smoke, drink or eat can backfire from customer service to customer privacy issues. There is a big difference between knowing your customers and the customer feeling he or she is known.
I’m only mentioning this because of experience. Losing a customer because of too much customer service hurts as much as losing a customer because of offering too little customer service.
Know your customers.
Tony Huppert is a Wisconsin businessman of 40 years and CEO of Team Oil Inc., the family-owned and operated Team Oil Travel Center, and Subway in Spring Valley, Wis.