People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. My favorite Angelou quote hands down. Not written for customer experience or customer service, it certainly applies, doesn’t it? If you want to minimize your guarantees for customer attrition, you should take heed.
Check out our thoughts on customer focus.
When we work with clients on customer experience or customer service design, we always start with things not to do. Why may you ask? Simple. For every bad experience we create for customers, we need to create anywhere from 5-10 experiences just to break even. Customers remember the bad easier than the good.
Before we continue, let me ask you a question.
What works best for customer service design in your business? We would love to hear what it was. Would you do us a favor and post it in the comments section below? Be the one who starts a conversation.
With the advent of the Internet, the number of marketing options available to both budding and experienced entrepreneurs has become staggering.
When it comes to running our companies, we all get into a rut from time to time. One big weakness is not having enough time in the day to assess all of the ways our customers are interacting with us, whether it’s digital or good old face-to-face. With all the access customers have to products and services other than your own, it’s extremely easy to lose opportunities to make them happy.
Take a look at your business and see if any of these bad experiences may be losing your customers:
Customer attrition … employees ignoring customers
How many times have you walked into a store and you find employees hard at work doing store tasks? An easy way for them to ignore you, isn’t it? How about when you find them talking to each other about their shifts or, worse yet, about the fact that they hate working today? It happens more often than you think. Your customers want a pleasant and positive experience with your business, and they want to be noticed and quickly engaged with … not ignored. Let your employees know that customer attention and engagement is their number one priority. They should save store work and the idle chit-chat for when customers aren’t around.
Have you ever called your business phone number to see what the customer experience is like? I do it all the time. If your phone tree has lots of branches and a complex menu, your customers or prospects can’t get someone to talk to in a quick and easy fashion; you could lose them forever. It is one of my biggest pet peeves.
Don’t greet your customers on the phone with the “Please listen to the following as our menu has changed” message. That takes a solid five seconds that a customer could be in touch with you faster. Also, assess what most of the calls coming in are concerning. If they’re usually on a specific topic, then that should be the “Press one for … ” option. Never hesitate to change your phone tree.
Have you ever had to wait for someone to get off his/her mobile device before helping you? Likewise, had an employee answer the phone while waiting on you? Think of a customer coming into your business and experiencing the same. Nothing can be more frustrating and rude.
I’ve been at a restaurant and waited for 10 minutes before I was asked if I wanted a menu simply because the wait staff was updating Facebook. And it doesn’t only happen at retail locations; it happens in the office environment, too.
At my small business marketing agency, Digital Spark Marketing, our employees always used to have their laptops on or type away on their mobile devices during meetings. Nothing worse and had to be curbed; no matter how good you are at multi-tasking, you’re going to miss something important if you’re typing away. It shows a lack of respect for your customers or co-workers and it says to them that whatever’s happening on your phone or laptop is more important that everyone else’s time. And time is one of the life’s most important assets. Your employees need to put customers first, before texting and social media, and if they want to do those things, then it should be during their time.
Customer attrition analysis … feel welcome?
Have you ever walked into an office and had no one pay attention to you? Or ever shopped at a store and no one asked if you needed help? My husband walked into a local store, shopped for an item for about 10 minutes and none of the four employees (who weren’t busy) asked if he needed help.
He then brought his purchase to the counter and gave the check-out person his credit card. The entire transaction happened without a word. Really? No feelings of being welcomed here, is there?
Many retail businesses make it someone’s job to welcome people into the store. Restaurants have hosts that greet you and get you seated. All businesses, not just retail, need to have some way of knowing when a visitor has arrived. Make sure you and your people are smiling and welcoming newcomers into your place of business; you never know who they might be.
Losing customers … inconsistencies
If you’re a customer, and you like to frequent a particular business, you expect a certain level of performance that you’ve grown accustomed to, whether it be a website that works well or the quality of a meal at a restaurant. If you think you have the best pizza in New York, it better be the best pizza every single time you serve it.
If your customer service is outstanding, all of your customers need to experience that outstanding service each and every time. Remember that your repeat customers are telling your new prospects about their experience, so make sure it’s always the same stellar experience or it won’t be talked about.
You can’t neglect your customer experience if you want them to stay with or recommend your business.
Remember, customers create the most value for you … when you create the most value for them.
Here’s the thing, customer experience isn’t just a new way of marketing, it’s a new way of running a business isn’t it? Many businesses certainly have figured this out and are using social marketing and improved customer experience to grow their business rapidly.
Practices that are proactively managing all elements of their customer experiences are most successful in achieving customer loyalty.
Do you have a lesson about improving your customer focus you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?
So what’s the conclusion? The conclusion is there is no conclusion. There is only the next step. And that next step is completely up to you.
It’s up to you to keep improving your customer attention and focus. Lessons are all around you. In many situations, your competitor may be providing the ideas and or inspiration. But the key is in knowing that it is within you already.
All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new lessons.
When things go wrong, what’s most important is your next step.
Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.
Need some help in building better customer trust from your customer experiences? Creative ideas to help grow your customer relationships?
Call today for a FREE consultation or a FREE quote. Learn about some options to scope your job and pay for results.
Call Mike at 607-725-8240.
All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new ideas to make your customer experiences better.
When things are not what you want them to be, what’s most important is your next step. Call today.
Are you devoting enough energy to improving your continuous learning for yourself and your team?
Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change. We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.
More reading on customer experience from our Library: