5 things businesses should learn from the lemonade boy

Running a lemonade stand, like building a tree house is a rite of passage for many kids. While a fun activity, parents should realize that running a lemonade stand can be a great learning experience, too. Not only do kids learn a great deal about marketing, customer service and the importance of earning a dollar, selling lemonade breaks the monotony of a summer vacation!

photo credit aidanmorgan

What can we learn from lemonade stands? Let’s look at them from a customer service perspective. If it’s hot out and the lemonade boy greets everyone with a smile, people will be compelled to buy. If the lemonade boy is offering correct change, asking customers what they think of the drink before thanking them for their business, he will get loyal customers for life.

Many companies believe they must perform behavioral science research to come up with a strategy to figure out what they can deliver and what the customer wants. Sometimes businesses need to step back and assess their customer service strategy from the point of view of a 12-year old lemonade salesman. Seriously, when was the last time you got put on hold while asking for extra sugar at a lemonade stand?

1. Fun can be inexpensive

A blender and some lemons is all you need to get lemonade flowing. Similarly, in the business world, customer engagement shouldn't take up all your resources. For example, there are tools that let you streamline every aspect of your customer service with both free and paid plans.

2. Give back to your community

Many kids sell lemonade to raise money for causes and charitable organizations. Companies should implement a self-service portal or a knowledge base that provides value to causal readers (and turns them into customers).

3. Politeness goes a long way

Everyone knows that smiling kids sell the most lemonade. Business owners should ensure their support is a pleasant experience throughout all channels — whether on the phone, email, social media or other methods.

4. Don’t be a number

Our lemonade boy wouldn't put his customers on hold and neither should you. A sure way to drive customers away is by drowning them with canned responses, “it’s company policy” babble or directing them to call the “800 number”.

5. Never stop listening

Even if your neighbor can get lemons cheaper and has a better blender, your suggestions box will keep customers coming back. Keep customers engaged with accessible feedback options.

The bottom line is to listen to your customers, ask them about the little things that bother them.

Originally published in the Helprace blog.

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