While strolling around the famous Machane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem today I was treated to a real insight on how to build customer loyalty.
At the bottom end of the market is a halva store selling endless varieties of this delicious Middle Eastern sweet treat. The owner was standing outside his stall handing out free tasters to passersby.
He was standing there smiling, talking to anyone and everyone, building rapport with the crowds. I hate coffee and told him so. He immediately asked me which of the dozens of other varieties I would like to try. I demurred, telling him that I wasn’t buying today, and he still insisted, cutting me a generous taste of a spectacular pecan halva.
I thanked the owner and moved on.
Further up, there is another halva store, also with endless varieties, and, as it happened, a representative from that store was also offering passersby tasters of their coffee variety. As before, I explained that I didn’t care for coffee flavor. This time the response was entirely different. I was ushered on my way with no offer of an alternative. Essentially all I got was a “too bad you don’t like coffee,” and that was that.
What a missed opportunity. When I am next in a buying mode, which store do you think I’ll be purchasing my halva from?
Customer loyalty is all about building a relationship. And that starts way before the actual purchase. Remember that and you won’t go far wrong.