Remember when you felt jilted as a customer? Your blood pressure and frustration increased in lock-step with the other person’s disregard for your problem. Then what did you do? Did you slam the phone, rattle off an unconscious stream of four letter words, or vow to never do business with them again? Maybe. One thing you almost certainly did was tell anyone who would listen what a lousy, no good experience you had with company X. And then you told a few more people for good measure.
We all can get frustrated by long wait times, inflexible “policies”, delays, billing issues, automated telephone systems, and the like. Yet almost every one of us think “that’s not how we treat our customers” or is it? The good news is you can quickly and easily find out. Just be your own customer for the day. Call the main number and customer service hotline. For good measure, try to reach the C-suite to see how professional and pleasant of an experience you receive. Try to get an explanation for a bill, order a part after hours, or request technical help before 8AM or after 5PM.
If you want to take it even further, then ask someone you trust to lend a critical eye to your facilities. Does it appear professional or like a fun place to work or like a morgue? Get your best customer’s feedback on your policies and mission statement. You will quickly realize where the holes are in the ship and there will be more than you expect.
The odds are for poor customer service are so favorable so everyone expects it. If you can make changes to your business (heck even to your personal behavior) to do that one extra thing to help the customer, then they will notice. A helped customer becomes a loyal customer and a loyal customer becomes a referring customer.
Weber, the grill people, reminded me of this last week. In less than one year, the metal grate on my grill started to flake and shed — not something you want to end up in your food. I reluctantly called the Weber customer service line expecting a fight to get the part replaced. Surprisingly, there was zero hassle involved. The phone rang directly to a representative who confirmed my online registration, asked what I needed, and said my replacement part (covered under warrantly) would arrive in 7-14 days. Not only did they solve my problem but they have gotten my word-of-mouth recommendation a few times already.
Do you make easy for customers to do business with you?