Start a conversation about receiving poor customer service, and everyone will jump on the band wagon with a story to contribute! Right? It’s such an emotive topic, because when you spend your hard-earned money with another business, you expect the experience to be pleasant.
Many business owners will tell you that the best thing about running your own business is that you don’t have a boss. Wrong! Who pays your salary and makes your job possible? Your customers. Without them, you don’t have a business. Equally, your employees need to realise that although the business pays their salaries, it’s made possible by the customers who provide income to the business. So, who’s the boss?
We’ve outlined the six most common customer service pitfalls our business coaching clients encounter and how a shift in mindset can be the difference between avoiding or succumbing to them.
Many business owners will tell you they have no complaints, and therefore assume that their customers are happy. The reality is that only 4% of customers will complain when they are not happy. The rest will simply not return, and worse, tell all their friends and colleagues about the poor service they received. Just as employees rely on feedback from their boss to grow, improve and learn, so too do businesses rely on feedback from their customers to ensure that they are meeting their expectations.
We know what our customers want
This is one of the most common mistakes that businesses make. They dictate to their customers and tell them what they need, what they will do for them and how it will get done. Your employees don’t dictate to you… so why would you dictate to your customers? True customer service requires the business and its employees to truly listen to their customers to ensure that they can tailor their service to meet their needs.
Service stops when the sale is done
Too many businesses focus so much on the sales process and landing the deal, they forget to follow through with their customers after the sale is done. This is a particularly fatal attitude when your business relies on word of mouth, after sales service and repeat business. Once you’ve landed a job, you can’t slack off… you need to keep impressing the boss to keep your job and get ahead. Don’t give your customers reason to regret their decision.
Everything by the book
While consistency, systems, processes and policies are good business practice, nothing shouts CUSTOMER SERVICE more than when a business or employee is willing to bend the rules to assist you. Just as the boss appreciates and rewards employees who go the extra mile, it is important for businesses to maintain a level of flexibility in order to adapt and adjust to customer needs.
When you repeatedly get away with poor service, it becomes the norm for both your customers and your employees. When you repeatedly fall short of meeting expectations, the expectation is that you won’t meet expectations and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Repeated poor performance from an employee results in dismissal and loss of income. Your customers will also give you the boot if you continue to let them down.
We could go on and on citing the pitfalls of poor service… from breaking promises, to trying to upsell or cross-sell to already-disgruntled customers, to body language and so on. At the end of the day, many customer service pitfalls can be avoided when a business owner and the team of employees start viewing the customer as the boss.
As part of my business coaching services, I facilitate workshops with businesses to determine the specific pitfalls of customer service in the company and to help the team realise that without happy customers, their jobs are on the line. If your team could do with a mind shift, give me a call and let’s customise a coaching solution for your team, your business and your future.