Ask your clients to speak honestly when giving you feedback, because your client’s opinion counts for much more than your ego!
Like most people, you probably enjoy a little ego massage…
After all, positive strokes and recognition of your achievements make you feel good.
But, rely on your clients to only congratulate you on every success, and you may be heading for financial ruin.
Because, even though positive feedback is very good for your soul…
negative feedback is good for your wallet in the long run, as long as you take it on board and learn from your mistakes …
because customers will tend to stay with you for longer and refer more people to you when you serve them well!
Here’s why it’s important to ask your clients “what am I doing wrong?”, listen to what they tell you and take action to do the right thing …
- Reduce the number of clients you lose every month … talk to them about their issues (or watch them wander off into the arms of your competition!)
- Proactively address your clients’ concerns instead of sweeping them under the carpet
- Monitor your complaints to ensure your Teams and Systems deliver consistency
- Ensure you over deliver on your promises to your clients
- Generate ideas for how you can improve your business from your client’s perspective
I devised a step by step process from my quest for fantastic customer service (with thanks to my colleague John Boulton)…
Step 1 : Create the underlying conditions and structures for fantastic customer service
Is your service consistent at a level you have defined (irrespective of who deals with the customer)?
You need to set the standard for what level of service your clients can expect, then deliver on it 24/7.
Many businesses that I have worked with fail on basic communication with their clients, which means that their clients’ expectations are not being managed or met on a consistent basis.
Fortunately this can easily be fixed with regular feedback points, and automated communication and reminders using the software that can be sitting on your mobile phone or desktop, when you know how to automate your follow up…
Step 2 : Ask for feedback from your customers regularly
What you measure will improve, just by giving your attention to an area that has been neglected will make it more visible and you will realise where you need to improve your customer service.
There are probably crucial points in your relationship with your customer where it’s vital to ask for feedback.
You can map these trigger points against your delivery/satisfy the customer process.
Step 3 : Apply the golden rule!
Is your marketing copy full of awesome and amazing while your service is only adequate?
Consider how you would respond when faced with poor service, and decide to treat your clients as you would like to be treated.
Step 4 : Put good quality checklists in place
Checklists can enable you to do the same thing again and again, without variation.
Step 5 : Create a complaints log so that you can see patterns etc.
Create a simple log of customer complaints so you can see trends over time.
Are your complaints static, reducing or increasing?
What are the underlying causes and what conditions or structures need to be created or modified to deliver greater consistency?
Research suggests that a complaint or problem overcome creates a perception of better service than a flawless performance.
It’s how well you recover that sets you apart from the crowd.
Of course, you will also want to capture what your clients love about you and what you are doing right so you can use testimonials in your marketing.