As anyone who knows me and my business, I’m a firm believer that systems are…
Are Your Systems Severing Your Customer Connection?
When we think about customer connection, we mostly look for how often we contact our customers and what we give them.
This is important because the more we contact our customers, the more connection we build.
The thing is though; it doesn’t matter how often we contact them if we do something that leads our customers to feel insignificant, then we run the risk of severing the connection. And often all it takes is one count, and you are out.
Recently I decided to purchase a new pair of seeing glasses. I was so excited because I had spied a really cool pair and couldn’t wait to order them. I was also excited at the thought of seeing properly again. Order day finally arrived and off I went to my local optometrist. I placed my order and paid for them there and then because it was part of their sales process.
Dilemma struck the next morning!
Have you ever ordered something and then POW all of a sudden you change your mind? Well, that happened to me. The next morning, after a networking breakfast where I had a chat with a friend who warned me about the challenge of multifocals, I decided to change my multifocal lenses to reading lenses.
I called the store immediately and was informed in a matter of fact manner that they couldn’t adjust my order because they have a system. The matter wasn’t handled well, and if I hadn’t already paid in full, I would have walked away and made my purchase elsewhere.
Systems in business are essential because they create consistency of service and customers love consistency, and this means they stay happy. When systems become a problem though, is when we don’t handle situations well where more flexibility is needed.
If we don’t engage our flexibility muscle, it can lead to our customer feeling unimportant. This can sever the connection we have spent time building, and there is far too much competition in the market place now to take that risk. Systems can be challenging to change on the spot, especially if they are automated.
So how can we keep our customers happy whilst still maintaining the consistency?
- Communicate willingness.
It’s essential we give our customer the message they are valued, and we are willing to keep them happy, even if we don’t really know how yet. Never use the word ‘can’t’. If it’s something you have never done before, let them know you will do your best and will get back to them.
If you have attempted to override the system before and you were told it’s not possible, let your customer know that too. Let them see you are willing to do your best.
- Be open to taking feedback.
The only way we can be completely certain that our systems are working well is by taking customer feedback. And if you have customers willing to do this for you, then gratefully receive it, no matter how it is given.
Don’t take feedback personally, because it’s a gift for your business. You can even create a system for receiving feedback, and if you receive enough of the same feedback, it’s possibly time to look at how your system can be changed or tweaked. This will increase customer retention.
- Show your team how to do this.
Many business owners train their team to follow systems consistently, and that’s a good thing because it ensures everyone knows what to do. Problems can arise when they assume their team will know how to handle situations that require more flexibility.
For some people, this is a natural skill that they know intrinsically how to do it. For some other people though, it isn’t, and they need training on how to do it or a system to follow. Don’t just assume your team have this skill and give them the training they may need in handling situations that are slightly different.
Systems are essential in business to create consistency of service and consistency of results. This attracts more people and builds even more connection.
The fact is though if we make our systems more important than our people it can have the reverse effect.
Make sure your customers know they always come first.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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