Last time I spoke about the importance of "being nice" and how random acts of kindess can go a long way to securing more business and cementing existing business, especially when they are unexpected. We all like to feel valued and appreciated but a few people got in touch who said: "but how does being nice make me money? I've got a business to run, not a drop in centre".
So a few years ago YouGov, the Goverment statistics people, conducted a survey that resulted in this pretty shocking statistic: "half of people who move product provider, do so because of poor customer service". Furthermore, "53% of UK customers said they'd spend more if customer service was excellent".
That's half of your customers that don't return, or leave, because of the service that they experienced and more than half that would happily spend more money with you if you go a little bit out of your way to prove just how important those customers are.
But you've got to prove it. If you really liked someone and thought you'd found Mr/MrsRight and wanted to woo them, would you sit around hoping they got in touch? Do you think you'd up your chances a bit if you text them that you liked them? Of course. But do you think you'd be guaranteed a date if you sent a little note with some nice flowers and two tickets to a theatre show and dinner at a fancy restaurant? Absolutely. You need to be serious about how important your customers are. If your potential Mr/Mrs Right had a flock of admirers and you were really serious about being the one to date them, you'd want to think of ways to stand out, right? If you knew they'd received a few bunches of flowers from different people, you'd go for balloons or a face to face message or a poem - something to stand out. So why oh why oh why are you providing service like everyone else on the high street or in your sector? Stand out and get noticed - it's a really simple equation and the research shows us that customers are gagging for it...
So what are the top mistakes people make that hinder this beautiful relationship with your customers? I'll share them with you:
Effective customer communicationis essential and yet so often poor. These 10 secrets will help ensure you have happy customers, which in turn make for a great working environment.
Start with the basics because people always forget them: a friendly approach. It costs nothing to smile and appear welcoming and yet has such a strong impact, so don’t be afraid to show customers that you appreciate their custom. Greet them, seek to find what you can do for them, thank them and bid them farewell.
Ensure you have a personalised voicemail, which is cheerful and succinct.
We adopt the most common emotion that surrounds us, so create a positive environment in which you, your colleagues and your customers interact. Show your customers that you care and want to deliver good service by encouraging this philosophy and drive in your organization internally.
Align your organisation to your vision of service excellence. You can’t expect anyone to achieve your vision if they aren’t in the same frame of mind and understand what it is you want to achieve. A weekly team meeting is essential to bring everyone together: an opportunity to enthuse, share great practice and focus on manageable improvements for that week.
Always listen to your customers, your colleagues and the feedback you receive. It doesn’t matter what you think works best or how well you think you’re doing: your customers’ opinion and perception is the most important and the most telling.
Run a competition with an attractive prize for your customers that offer the best suggestions on how you can improve your service. It also doubles up well as a physical gesture that says: “we are committed to providing excellent service”.
Re educate your staff that complaints should be seen in a positive light as they are essential feedback. Changing mindset about how complaints are perceived is the first step to handling them effectively. Complaints are often emotionally charged, however, don’t let that detract from the content.
Keep your promises even if it means losing out in the short term. Breaking promises is poor business. Fulfill the promise you’ve made; it goes a long way to building great relationships.
Treat and show every customer, whoever they are, however much they spend, with respect, dignity, sincerity, honesty and generosity. Value each customer as an individual; a person – not just a sale.
Take a moment to put yourself in the customer’s shoes to help relate to their situation and remember your own experiences as a customer to sympathise.
Jez Rose is The Behaviour Expert, the UK's most recommended customer service speaker. His new book, Have A Crap Day is out now in Amazon and available directy from www.thebehaviourexpert.com - for all of July proceeds are going to the Alzheimers Society.
Member since: 6th June 2013
Jez Rose is an internationally renowned Behaviour Change Consultant, professional speaker, award-winning entrepreneur, author and media personality.
Despite being the “go-to” guy for memorable and behaviour-changing...