In this three part series we will cover the most often forgotten, but easy to implement, items to improve your customer experience. First we will address what your customer’s needs and expectations are, then your employees’, and finally what you need to provide and achieve as the business owner/manager.
What Your Customers Expect Out of a Great Experience
It’s common knowledge that, in order to succeed in business, you must give your customers a great experience. The Gatemaster team has gathered ten easy ways to achieve common expectations your customers have. It’s important to address these needs during customer interactions because, if you achieve them, your customers will love you and keep coming back!
Customers value companies that listen to them. Give your customers a way to deliver their feedback. Provide comment cards, online surveys, contact us forms, or even targeted mailers. Be proactive and ask for your customers’ opinions before they even know they want to give them to you.
- Customers want to be heard.
It doesn’t matter who your customer is talking to. Your customer expects to always get the same answer. Conflicting answers are frustrating and can lead to a poor experience for your customer. Your customers don’t want to ask the same question to several of your employees and get several different answers. This kind of negative experience can cost you their business!
- Customers expect consistency.
You don’t need to know everything to be an expert. Sometimes knowing where to get an accurate and timely answer is just as good as knowing something personally. Your customer expects your employees to be able to find the correct answers quickly and confidently. Getting the answer right but having to wait for it is always better than getting an immediate but ultimately wrong answer.
- Customers want to work with experts.
When bad feedback is given, it’s important to address the concern directly. Maybe your customer’s experience was a one-time issue that will never happen again. By not addressing their feedback, you leave an open door to poor online reviews and bad word of mouth. Offer a call back to your customer who gives a bad review. Listen to their concerns and experience. Offer a way to make it right with them. Read more about improving your online reviews here.
- Appreciate your customers feedback.
Repeat customers are our friends. Your customer wants to know you appreciate their business. Show them you love them for spending their time and money with your company. Offer bounce back passes or free items for referring a friend. Perks will keep your customers coming back AND they will bring their friends!
- Customers want rewards.
It’s not to much to ask that your employees be courteous. “Please,” “thank you,” and a welcoming smile are easy and free. It’s hard to be angry with a nice person. Give your customers a great first impression.
- Customers expect courtesy.
It’s hard to say sorry when you’re not wrong. Sometimes it’s just expected and can turn a bad situation around. Saying “I’m sorry” is not an omission of guilt. You are just acknowledging how the customer feels. Hear your customer, let them speak, then make it right.
- Customers want to hear, “I’m sorry.”
Going above and beyond doesn’t mean you give the farm away. It means when an issues arise, you address the concern and resolve it. A free food item or bounce back pass can go a long way.
- Customers want you to go above and beyond.
You may not be able to resolve all concerns on the spot. Let the customer know when you will follow up and then follow up whether you have resolution or not. Keeping the customer in the loop will let them know you care and that you’re not dropping the ball. A customer with a resolved issue will be a returning customer.
- Customers appreciate your follow up and follow through.
Answer the phone and respond to email. You may not be open 24/7 but it’s important to respond to customers even if only during your business hours.
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Part 2 – What Your Employees Need to Give a Great Customer Experience
Part 3 – What a Business Owner/Manager Needs to Provide to Create a Great Customer Experience
- Be available to your customers.