Customer Retention Secret: Make An Offer They Can Refuse!

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How can we consistently and cost-effectively exceed customer expectations in order to earn repeat business?

This is the challenge many organizations face, especially as competition increases. Smart companies have come up with a novel answer, a low-cost way of exceeding expectations that really makes customers happy.

I do some of my shopping at Pavilions, an upscale grocery chain owned by Safeway. On numerous occasions, when paying my bill, the checker has asked:

"Would you like some help out to your car?"

I’m a fairly big guy, so this line is almost humorous when I’ve only purchased a half-gallon of milk or a six-pack of Coke.

Still, I appreciate the gesture.

And this is precisely the point that Pavilions wants to make. It’s sending a clear signal that it’s WILLING to go out of its way for me. This builds relationship credits in my mental “service bank. "

Noting this pattern, I asked a checker how often people actually accept the offer of additional help.

"I check-out about 300 people a day, " she replied. “And about three of them want help. "

Imagine that!

You can formulate an offer that builds service-wealth, and only have to deliver on your offer one time out of 100. Consider how much profit your company could amass if it kept 99% of everything that came in!

The message is clear. We can’t always exceed customer expectations, but we can do the next best thing.

We can show that we’re ready, willing, and able to do so. Happily, this can convey the same impression at a fraction of the cost.

Dr. Gary S. Goodman

Dr. Gary S. Goodman is a popular keynote speaker, management consultant, and seminar leader and the best-selling author of 12 books, including Monitoring, Measuring & Managing Customer Service. Gary’s programs are offered by UCLA Extension and by numerous universities, trade associations, and other organizations in the United States and abroad. When he isn’t consulting, Gary can usually be found in Glendale, California, where he makes his home. He can be reached by calling (818) 243-7338 or at


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