We've all heard that “The customer is always right,” and we all agree that “The customer is king.” Pretty self-explanatory, right? As customers ourselves, we expect satisfaction, or we simply spend our money elsewhere. Years ago, poor customer service led only to casual complaints to family and friends. Today, however, with just a few keystrokes and a couple of mouse clicks, negative reviews are posted across the internet in seconds.
"The customer's perception is your reality. " ~ Kate Zabriskie
So, what happens when we move to the other side of the business/customer relationship? Unfortunately, many of us are so excited to put on our “owner” hats that we forget the customer is still king – we focus only on our bottom line and don’t consider the big picture. We’ve forgotten how to think like a customer.
Kind of ironic, when you realize we’ve been customers far longer than business owners. We have years of consumer experience and anticipate above-and-beyond customer service. So where did that go? The following four tips can get us back into customer mode and help us deliver the experience that our customers want.
Go where your customers go – What websites, blogs and social media groups do they frequent? According to author Tom Mann, “To catch fish, you need to find fish.”
Listen to your customers – Ask your customers to rate, on a scale of 0-10, the likelihood of a positive referral and why (or why not). This direct engagement shows your customers that you care about their experience and identifies what they value most.
Be your own first-time customer and visit your website – Can you quickly find what you need, or are you constantly clicking additional links? Is the content easy to understand, or is it full of confusing “techno-speak?” This can also be applied offline - experience your store or office like a first timer. How long does it take for you to be served? Is the staff helpful? etc.
Reevaluate your customer service – Imagine you’re a disgruntled customer. Is there an empathetic plan in place - both online and offline? Do you address the positive and negative comments quickly via telephone, email, live chat and social media?
Now ask yourself this – when was the last time you did any of the above? The good news is that you can start right now.