An ounce of prevention in customer experience!
(This blog post is predicated on the understanding that you or your business will fail at delivering a product or customer service occasionally. If you do not think this statement is applicable to your business, then this post will not be helpful! Here is a link that will help.).[bctt tweet=”Let’s start by saying that sometimes you cant recover from a bad customer experience.”] Sometimes people will not like you enough to give you a second chance. That is their right and you probably shouldn’t hold it against them.
With that in mind we have two areas of work in dealing with a bad customer expereince. Preventative Care and the Aftermath. This blog post is about the preventative steps to take to help prevent a bad customer experience. Next week we will look at dealing with the aftermath of a bad customer experience.
The wise Benjamin Franklin once said, ” An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is absolutely true in the case of customer experience. What does that ounce of prevention look like for customer experiences?
Culture is the way of life in your organization. How you should handle customers is part of the culture. It is something observed by employees everyday and it is up to the leaders in the organization to set the tone and the expectations. If the owner has the habit of taking criticism personally it will pour over into the other employees and hurt their customer service.
The culture of your organization needs to value the customer. I am reminded of a small family owned grocery I used to work at in Illinois. Customer service was one of the primary values of the store even though it was not on the wall. Everyone know that it was important to the organization because the owner exhibited it daily. What example are you setting for your organization?
Are you reward those who take care of their customers well? Are you encouraging good customer service behavior?
Are you setting up your employees to win with the right training? If you are having regular customer service failings or bad quality products then probably not. Evaluate your training regularly. Think about the goals you have for an employee and then consider how your training can bring out those qualities. Training is more than knowing how to put the widget in the box! Training should help us to know why we put the widget in the box and how to treat the person buying the widget.
Do not assume that your employees know how to treat the customers. Spell it out explicitly so there is not miscommunication. A Failure to Communicate helps no one. It is your responsibility as the owner to communicate clearly to the employees.
Think through the expectations you are setting as the business, not for your employees but for the customer. What tone are you setting when they come in? Are you accurately portraying your business in your marketing? Setting the tone for a expensive steakhouse when you serve cheap fried chicken is setting your customer up to have a bad experience.
Are you properly branding yourself?
Have your customers been confused on a regular basis about your pricing or where to go when they enter the business? Do not expect the public to learn over time! Remove as many roadblocks to a great customer experience as possible! Put in new signage, re-due the pricing structure, move the customer check-in to make their experience easier. Failure to change is not their fault but yours!
Let us all work to give our customers the best experience. A small cost in time and money now will pay off huge in the long run!