Recently my neighbors and I have been besieged by relentless unremitting building noise. It’s been a part of our experience everyday from 7 am for many weeks now.
After trying several channels to resolve this problem, with varying degrees of success, I eventually decided to contact the company’s overall project management team. They sent someone out to see me and the matter appears to be finally resolved.
The experience prompted me to reflect on ways the builders could have better managed the situation from the start, lessons that every business can take on board.
5 Tips for Managing your Customers’ Experience
1. Be accessible
There are going to be times when people need to speak with you as a matter of some urgency. They may need to alter an appointment, want to discuss a change in their requirements, feel compelled to share details of something they’re unhappy about.
When you’re accessible people come to regard you as someone who’s easy to talk to, who’s keen to do your best for them, who wants them to be happy with your business and continue to use your goods and services. When they feel supported they’re confident about recommending you to others. Being friendly and approachable stops issues blowing up out of proportion and becoming a big deal.
2. Monitor social media
Many people use social media, Twitter, Facebook, etc to praise and/or complain about the treatment they’ve received from businesses. I’ve read somewhere that a happy client will tell three people about you whilst an unhappy one will tell eleven. Those figures become magnified when social media is fully utilized. Monitor how you’re being talked about, then you can react quickly to fix a problem, so turning potentially bad press into a good PR result.
3. Pretend to be your own customer
This is how you’ll discover what it’s like to visit your business. The management team for my noisy builders said that they’re office based and only visit the site once a month! They were clearly relying on others to be their eyes and ears!
But we want to be more proactive, more hands on than that, don’t we? With that in mind try phoning your business with an order, a query, a complaint or use a secret shopper to visit your premises to see how tidy, efficient, friendly the service is. That way you remain aware of what a typical customer experience is like.
4. Communicate what’s going on in your business
Acquaint your customers and clients with any changes to staff, trading hours, terms and conditions. Give away helpful tips and advice. Maybe provide seasonal offers and customer rewards to keep your customers incentivized. Provide training days or workshops to teach your customers better skills. Take the lead and so manage your customers’ experience.
5. Take responsibility
If things aren’t going quite right or are even going wrong for a customer, admit it straight away and then you can start to discuss effective ways to fix things. Most people are reasonable when they are dealt with respectfully.
Being open and honest about errors or omissions as soon as possible allows for them to be dealt with in the best way for all concerned. So long as it doesn’t happen too often you’ll find that you maintain good relations with your customers and are able to keep them happy.
Treat others as you would like to be treated is a familiar saying that has a particular resonance when you’re dealing with a client or customer. Taking these tips on board can enable you to manage a positive, successful customer experience and keep everyone happy.
About the Author
Susan Leigh is a Counsellor and Hypnotherapist and works with business clients to support the health and motivation levels of individuals and teams.