by Dr. Rick Goodman, CSP
Does your company provide a satisfactory customer experience?
Hopefully the answer to that is yes, but it’s important for business owners to stop, really think about this question, and take its implications seriously. Your kneejerk response may be to say that yes, your customer experience is on point, but what makes you so sure? Often, good companies start to grow lax in their standards of customer service, and the leadership team doesn’t realize it until damage has been done.
But how can you know when your company’s service standards are beginning to waver? There are a few common warning signs. Keep your eyes and ears open for the following:
Consistent customer complaining. This one is obvious. Having a single customer complaint doesn’t necessarily mean you have a problem, nor do a few scattered complaints about different things—but if you have multiple customers telling you the same thing, you need to step back and realize that you have the makings of an unwelcome trend.
You see a drop off in repeat customers. If customers are leaving, there has to be a reason for it—and if it’s not an issue with your product, then it must have something to do with your service.
You see a decline in referrals. Again, if customers are not recommending you to their friends, there is a reason for it.
Your own priorities are askew. Do you value customer acquisition over customer retention? Is it more important to you that you deliver a fast product instead of a really good product? If so, then you may experience some customer service issues very soon, if you haven’t already.
Your approach to marketing does not encompass customer service. If you’re so obsessed with bringing in new leads that you don’t view service itself as a marketing channel, then something is clearly a bit off!
Your employees are unhappy. Unhappy employees are not going to be as adept at offering warm, friendly, attentive service; a morale problem will always turn into a service problem, sooner or later.
You assume that because people aren’t complaining, there aren’t any problems. The most successful companies know that there is always room for improvement—and as such, they are always working to improve!
The best way to improve your customer service? On-site customer service training. Motivate your team to excel in serving your customers, and equip them with the tools they need to do so.
About the author: Dr. Rick Goodman, CSP, is a thought leader in the world of leadership and is known as one of the most sought after team building experts in the United States and internationally. He is famous for helping organizations, corporations and individuals with systems and strategies that produce increased profits and productivity without having the challenges of micro managing the process. Some of Dr. Rick’s clients include AT&T, Boeing, Cavium Networks, Heineken, IBM and Hewlett Packard. For more information, visit www.rickgoodman.com