The key to satisfying your customers lies within you. The method you use will depend on your industry. Below are six (6) tips to help evaluate your service.
1. Ask for feedback
Have you ever purchased an item or visited a place of business and was not fully satisfied. You would really like to tell them that one thing they should improve on without sounding difficult. Many people complain to their friends about their experiences at a certain place. I do it all the time. Wouldn’t you be happy if you had a medium to tell the business what you think?
As a business owner –you should provide communication channels to allow your customers and clients to give feedback on their experience. This will help YOU so much more than trying to figure it out on your own. No matter the culture (e.g Dominicans are hard to please, Trinidadians are never satisfied, Antiguans are picky etcetera) paying attention to what they have to say will help you. Remember you are into business to solve a problem for them. It is not about what you like or what you think will work. People have different tastes and preferences. Give them what they want. If you are one step ahead by always providing what they ask for – you will win BIG. Just alter your price and ensure that value is provided.
Wondering how to do it? Get them to complete feedback forms. Consumers are not always inclined to fill out forms, therefore make it interesting. Pay attention to the timing. You cannot ask people to complete a form whilst shopping. Offer an opportunity to earn a discount or win something by completing this short survey.
If you operating online – have them complete a short survey that will give you a better feel of what value your product/service gave to them. Survey Monkey is an excellent tool to create surveys and it is completely free.
- Tailor your feedback form to capture the key areas that you want them to rate.
- Include an option for them to make suggestions for improvement – this part is important.
- Ask them what they enjoyed the most (so you have an idea what type of product and/or service works best for your niche.)
Once you can consistently do this, you will be better able to retain them.
2. Apply service recovery techniques
How quickly do you solve issues when they arise? In business, there will always be unsatisfied customers – the key is being able to effectively solve them. For example, if you operate a restaurant, there may be days when you are overwhelmed with customers and unable to satisfy everyone. If a customer is not pleased with the cold meal served to them after having waited for one (1) hour to be served – you should have a strong recovery technique to regain their trust. Three quick tips: listen to the customer, apologize, and offer a solution. A solution usually involves warming the food and offering them a complimentary drink as well as a discount on the meal. Bear in mind that your tone whilst resolving the issue should be sympathetic, warm and stern.
Service recovery will vary based on your industry – so please customize your approach accordingly.
3. Monitor your conversion rate
Are you good at gaining new customers?How quickly do they respond to purchase items? Pay attention to your customers, are they sticking around? Do you have loyal customers or new ones all the time? Persons who are satisfied with your service will certainly stay around for a while. They see no reason to go to the competition or stop altogether.
Keep a log of all customer complaints and what methods were used to fix them. Try not to have reoccurring issues; it will affect your credibility. If you ask for feedback – apply recovery techniques, please act on them. It takes a small incident to affect your business reputation and we all know how quickly word-of-mouth spreads.
4. Monitor your calls
What is the first thing people hear when they call your business? Is your greeting warm and welcoming? One thing that can turn off a client is your tone of voice. People know when you are smiling on the line. Throughout the call process – do not just ask them to hold and keep them on for a while. Ask them if they mind holding, then try to connect them or provide the required assistance.
One phone call can turn customers away. I once called a business and the greeting was so cold and harsh – I simply thanked them and went to the competition. Remember people pay for the experience – you might be highly priced but you touch their emotional side so they will choose you ten (10) times over the competition for that one thing that you do differently. Your unique selling point.
Do you keep in touch with your customers after the purchase? Always maintain a database of clients with their name, contact and even birthdays. Send them promotional offers; your regular customers should be the first ones to know about it. Have exclusive offers for customers who purchased at least three (3) times. You can also develop a point system where they gain points with every purchase of a certain amount. I guarantee that this encourages them to spend more.
You can also use a type- form to obtain feedback, ask them what you did that they enjoyed and what they think can be improved. If it was a good rating/feedback, ask them for a referral. Also, inform them that they will gain additional points for every referral. These simple strategies will benefit you in the long run. Just from one happy customer – you gain much more.
Work with me to help you build a customer service system that will get you the results that you want – Send me an email.
6. Use mystery shoppers
Some employees know your clientele and treat them well. But having a mystery shopper will certainly identify all the nitty gritty’s of the business. This mystery individual will help identify the weak links and ways the service could be improved. You can evaluate all aspect of your business and get an overall experience of your customer service.
For example: having this person call angrily, come in with an attitude, be petty and loud and also even return an item for no apparent reason. Then, monitor how your staff handles each situation. You will know where to improve and where you are strong. What makes them stand out is that – they do it on purpose so they are disgusted. Being able to handle a really disgusted customer is key. It will also show you the tolerance level of your employees. Remember your customer service is as good as your product. You can have a good quality product and poor customer service.
What were your biggest takeaways from this article?
Tell me about an experience where you received bad customer service? How did you handle it?
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