Everyday your organization’s policies, procedures and processes send messages to your customers, clients or constituents.
Do these messages say: “We’re here to serve you?” “We value your time.” “We care about you.” Or do they say: “We don’t trust you.” “You are not really important.” “Stop bothering us.”
What messages are you sending to your customers every day?
Here are three ways to decide if you are easy or difficult to do business with.
1. Be Your Own Customer.
This is a must. Shop in your stores; eat in your restaurant; call your 800 number; place an order. Try to get something returned, explained or repaired. Find out how it feels to be a customer. Would you return or go somewhere else? There must be a routine in place that continually asks questions like: How can we make our services easier to use? How can we become easier to do business with?
2. Go Where The Action Is.
Direct personal contact with customers is probably one of the most valuable and least expensive methods of learning how to serve your customers better. Require all managers, not just the front line ones, to interact regularly with customers on a regular basis. They will learn not only about that particular customer, but about how to serve them better. That’s free advice. So take advantage of it.
As one production manager said: “I learned about the customer’s frustrations in getting a straight answer from a sales and I also learned that the specs we give are not very clear. I’ll need to do something about it.”
3. Rate Your Customer-Friendliness.
Check out your front end. How long to your customers have to wait to make a purchase or get a question answered? How quickly and conveniently do you process customer returns? Do your people have the power to resolve customer complaints promptly and to your customer’s satisfaction?
Check out your back end. Do you always deliver your customer’s order completely and accurately? How well do you keep them updated on the status of their order or application or inquiry? Are all your support people committed to helping the customer? If not, then train them to be more customer or user friendly.
Smart Moves Tip:
No matter how good your product is or the service you deliver, your customers have long memories and will decide to buy again, return for additional assistance or recommend you to others based on how you treat them; how you handle their order and most importantly, how you resolve their problems. Also see Are You in the Service Business and Customers Have Long Memories.
Do you have a gap between your game plan and your performance and profitability?
Don’t Gamble With Your Future! Close that gap and build your business, practice, firm or agency with The Business Edge and The Customer Experience. Get free e-book: 101 Tips.
Copyright © 2011 Marcia Zidle - the Actualizer – business strategist and coach.