Recently I had a call from a small business owner desperately seeking a training session…
3 Signs You Irritate Your Customers
I’m so pleased you chose to read this article as it means you care about your employees and your customers.
Let’s get straight to the 3 signs so you can either breathe a sigh of relief and pat yourself and your team on the back, or you can do a little business housekeeping and tidy up the problems.
1. Customers are waiting.
Yes, this seems obvious but it’s not just relevant to customers waiting in a queue for service, it’s just as relevant to customers who are waiting for an email or telephone response.
Solution: Set a standard for returning emails and telephone messages within 24 hours. For emails, have an auto responder in place. For the telephone, use a personal message that tells the caller what you are doing today and when you will call back. That extra three minutes in the morning to change your phone message is evidence you care and is also a great little marketing tactic to share with your customers what great stuff you are doing. For example: “Hi, thanks for calling. I’m currently working on some exciting new products but will return all calls after 1 pm today.”
Aim to exceed the 24 hours every time. Customers love having their expectations exceeded.
2. Your website or social media links don’t work.
It would be great if customers would let us know of these issues, but they are busy too, and you’re probably not at the top of their list of people to help. When links don’t work, it sows a seed of doubt in some customers mind as to whether you pay attention to details, provide great quality products and services or that you care about a customer’s experience.
Solution: If you don’t have web support services who should be doing this for you, ask an employee or someone in your network who you value for their eye for detail, to do some link checks for you. Remember to reward them for their time. For example: shout them a coffee; a box of choccies; or something that confirms you value them as much as your customers.
3. You over service them.
Someone told you (or your read somewhere) that you should do one blog per week, one newsletter per fortnight, courtesy call ten customers a month, start a Podcast, do regular live Facebook videos, tweet five times a day and post on Instagram as much as possible.
Phew, I’m tired just writing that out. Sure, connecting regularly with your customers is highly recommended and using technology is a time effective way to reach many customers but be mindful of not saturating your existing customers with too much information or ‘help’.
Not always is information informative and not always is help helpful. If you know your customers well enough, you’ll know what they need, when they need it and how best to get it to them.
Solution: Excellent customer service is not a one size fits all process so when you engage a new customer, build into your new customer engagement, a question that confirms their preferred method for updates and ongoing contact. It may take a little more time to manage, but the outcome is you build a tribe of customers who will speak highly of your business for its attention to detail and personal touch.
If you know your customers well enough, you’ll know what they need, when they need it and how best to get it to them.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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