Every day, depending on the size of your business, opportunities arise to improve the experience of your customer. If your business doesn’t have a program to capture what your customers say about you, then you are missing one of the fastest ways to increase sales and profitability. How do you know what’s working or not working in your business? What processes are you analyzing and implementing to make it easier for your customers to do business with you?
I can’t tell you the hundreds of times over the years I have heard business owners say, “we have great customer service.” However, it makes no difference what you think. What really matters is what the customer thinks.
No highfalutin’ technology is required to start an improvement program. Every time you or one of your team members has a customer encounter, listen to what your customer says and how he or she is saying it. You will find the potential for increased sales and profit opportunities coming straight from their mouths.
Record what they say and divide the comments into three categories – Compliments, Concerns, and Suggestions. For example:
- I just received your _____, and it really helped me with… (Compliment)
- It really bothers me when I call and… (Concern)
- I wish you would… (Suggestion)
These are just simple examples, but I suggest that you write down what your customers say immediately after the encounter and worry about classification later.
At the end of the week (or reasonable period), create a report and analyze it with your team leaders. Do this consistently and don’t stop. You can use this valuable data to develop and execute changes for improvement. Some of the benefits to your customer experience will be:
- Uncovering the core issue your customers are experiencing and then solving that problem.
- Eliminating pointless steps in your business processes, saving time and money.
- Recognizing and rewarding team members for the collection of this valuable information.
I have seen happy employees and dissatisfied customers, but never unhappy employees and happy customers.
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