60% of customers NEVER come back
That’s right, sixty percent of satisfied customers will probably NEVER re-visit your business and the most common reason why is because they didn’t feel valued. In other words, you have not only failed to impress, but have contributed to driving potentially loyal customers away.
We have all been into businesses where we’ve been lucky to get acknowledged, felt like an interruption, been treated with disdain or plain rudeness and/or been left hanging on the phone for ages wondering if we had been cut off - so we all know exactly what poor customer service feels like. Typically, most businesses are unaware the customer service behaviour in their business unwittingly or unconsciously does the same things to their customers.
If unsure, just take note of the things that either give a good or bad feeling about doing business next time you are being served - then ask, which of the good things am I NOT doing that I should, or more importantly, which of the repelling things Am I DOING that I shouldn’t.
So how can you create an atmosphere of quality Customer Service and levels of satisfaction high enough for customers to happily promote your business?
Customer satisfaction comes really easily when you and your staff genuinely demonstrate appreciation of a customer’s patronage and treat them with respect.
The following suggestions illustrate some of the ways a positive customer service can be both created and demonstrated...
Thank you – a simple thank you is often all that is required for a customer to leave with a good feeling provided, of course, words are genuinely delivered rather than the rote ‘thanks’ we often hear.
Alternatively, a thank you letter mailed or emailed to a new customer shortly after a visit does wonders for building the relationship and gaining repeat business and/or referrals.
Courteous help – some well tested and successful tips include providing prompt attention (particularly when busy) to acknowledge waiting customers, focusing your time on each client when you are with them (rather than showing distraction by other things around you), speaking politely, being helpful and recognising customers are the people who pay you and keep you in business, taking steps to give a little more than is expected, offering a unique solution, showing genuine care for issues and demonstrating your willingness to help resolve them. These are all easily recognizable hallmarks of Customer Service excellence which create a genuine desire for customers to return.
Birthday/special event cards – when sent with sincerity cards are a way of showing customers appreciation for their patronage and acknowledgment of them as individuals – just remember to sign them by hand to add to both the sincerity factor and to the appreciation factor of the recipient.
Special limited offers to display gratitude for referrals – sent with either a thank you letter or greeting card is another effective way of encouraging repeat business and building rapport with your customers. Offers can be invitations to a product launch, special pricing offers or special shopping times for valued clients – just make sure any such offer is limited in time.
And lastly, ALWAYS remember Customer Service starts from the moment a customer first connects with your business and NEVER stops, which is why it’s imperative to ensure that that you and all your staff are both aware of and trained in what represents appropriate customer service for your clients and that Customer Service becomes the absolute corner stone of your business.
Sure, you can ignore the power of Customer Service excellence and continue driving 60% of shoppers away from your business OR you can embrace it, create customer satisfaction that, in turn, creates loyal customers who frequently come back and often recommend you to family and friends – the choice is yours…