Last week, I shared the importance of staying in touch with your customers…and how many companies don’t do that. You and I have all experienced poor customer service experiences from businesses both big and small…
Here are a few things that we’ve experienced…and as a consumer it is troubling…
You go to a grocery store or drug store and the cashier doesn’t say hi, but just asks, “Need bags? Got Air Miles”? (or whatever points card you might have)…In my view a friendly hello and welcome to the store first, before asking if the customer needs bags or has a points card, would be great. Then once the transaction is done, why not share a big weekly special happening at the store next week, that encourages the customer to come back in…and then wish them a good day and thank them for shopping.
2. The other thing that is a bit troubling is why after paying top dollar at these stores do they charge us 5 cents a bag? I know it is for the environment, but the local government did away with the bag tax a few years ago, yet the customers are still paying for it and that is a disgrace. Some alternatives is to give bags for free, but have a sign near the cash desk reminding customers to recycle and bring in their used bags to use in future…
3. Why do stores raise funds for a charity and ask us for a donation? If you can imagine, that big chain stores across Canada are raising funds for a cause and that if $200,000.00 is raised from all of their customers, that big retail chain gets a very nice tax deductible expense for donating money that we all contributed to…next time politely decline the offer to donate and tuck away $5-10.00 that you can donate directly to the charities you like…and you can get the receipt and tax deduction…
4. The on hold forever experience…We have all heard this as we wait and wait for our call to be answered, “Your call means a lot to us…please hold”. Once you do get through, there are times you can’t get through to who you need to, or get your customer inquiry dealt with properly, or your complaint responded to in a way that is satisfactory.
Personally, I have emailed in a customer complaint to a few bigger chain stores and nothing was done about it and the communications from these companies were never fully replied to. I got an initial response, but it did not go further to share the outcome or solution with me. I find that frustrating as a customer.
What can you do to enhance the customer experience?
- For starters, don’t and I mean don’t nickle and dime your customers. Don’t charge extra for the little things, work it into the price if you have to. But look at your customer as someone you want to have come back, time and time again and treat them as a guest and that we matter.
- Focus on the experience you want your customer to have. What is the experience like? In fact try being a customer in your own business…what is the experience like on the phone, or via emails, or on social media? Make sure you orchestrate fun, engaging experiences at every level of contact you have with your customers. From how you greet them, to how you engage them in dialogue, to the process you use to get the customer from interest to transaction. Think it through, make it fun, easy and a good experience at every point of contact for your customers! With the new Beauty and the Beast movie coming out this week, maybe sing the song, “Be our guest” when it comes to thinking, planning and executing your customer care experiences.
3. Do random acts of thoughtfulness for your clients. For example send thank you notes or notes of encouragement (Something positive to inspire your customer), have an event for your customers, that could be a webinar, seminar, a “power breakfast” event, educate your customers, keep them in the loop of the latest ideas, product launches, specials and trends! Lastly, call them up, not to pitch, but to say hi and ask how they are. We all know these times are challenging and like you, your customers are going through the challenges we see happening in the world we live in.
I truly hope this helps you keep and retain your customers With bigger companies messing up on customer care, us little guys can go in and kick butt and take business away!
Make it an abundant, great week ahead!
David is an author, business coach and facilitator, he works with the City of Toronto, heading up an entrepreneur training program with inner city youth and adults, he is also the former host/producer and creator of the Small Business Big Ideas Show, a radio show heard weekly for over 9 years. He has 2 books, one called Bust Out Ignite your inner entrepreneur and the other is called The Weekly 3- 3 rock solid ideas to business and life success!
David has taught thousands over the years in both the non-profit and for profit sectors and has coached hundreds of start-ups to make those important first steps. He specializes in teaching the 8 Keys to Success, How I got to Kiss the Stanley Cup and his new keynote called “A breakthrough-through the glass”- how to overcome the fear, plus he leads workshops in sales, marketing, market research, business plans, target marketing and customer service programs.