Bad Customer Service stories still shock me…
A friend of mine recently told me a bad customer service story about him walking into a business early in the morning, only to be met with a firm “we’re closed.” He was quite shocked. Shocked because the opposite appeared true from the outside looking in – the lights were on, the staff were actively moving around the store, and the front door was unlocked.
It begs the question, as a customer should we have to ask before entering the premises?
I would think ‘no’ in this case. And why should we have to ask at all? Shouldn’t things actually be exactly as they appear so that I can maximise my interaction with the business?
With lots of competition in business today, we owe it to our customers and ourselves to make it as straightforward as possible for customers to buy from us. There really is no excuse for key items to be less than obvious to a customer, whether new or existing.
So here’s my list of bad customer service things I feel that customers should never have to ask:
- Are you open/closed? – If the lights are on and the door is open, as far as I’m concerned you’re open for business. And why wouldn’t you want me to walk in? After all you are trying to maximise your foot traffic and conversion aren’t you?
- Is it table service or do I order at the counter? – It’s hard to have an enjoyable experience if this process is not clear from the outset. Teach me how to interact with your business so that I can have the most enjoyable experience possible by cutting out frustration and delay.
- Do you have somewhere I can try this on? – It’s great when staff encourage me to try something on. I shouldn’t have to ask permission to do so.
- Do you have that in my size/in stock? – I’m all set to buy what I like, yet you don’t have my my size or the item I like in stock. You’ve just lost a sale which is bad for both of us.
- Is there a mirror so I can see what this looks like on me? – Honest feedback from shop assistants is all well and good, but if I went to all the trouble of trying this on I’d like some proof for myself that it actually looks ok.
- Where do I pay? – This is a serious pet hate. I found what I want, am ready to buy, yet am delayed as the point of sale is not clear. Please help make this clear so I can buy!
- Where is the bathroom? If it is not signposted, it isn’t obvious. When you see doors without a sign how do you know if it is the bathroom, storage area, office or staff area. We don’t want to feel like we are snooping.
Thankfully, most of these problems can be solved very quickly and at low cost with simple signage and friendly customer service.
Did you know that by improving your customer experience (face-to-face and digitally) you can:
- Increase loyalty
- Reduce customer turnover
- Create a clear competitive advantage
If we can encourage people to become promoters of your business, they may increase their spend by 9-11%*. That is a significant number even for a small business.
At Customer Service 360 we know that great customer service is all about helping existing and potential customers have a great experience when they interact with your brand. The more comfortable you feel, the longer you are likely to stay, and the more likely you are to spend. The more enjoyable the experience, the more likely you are to tell others about it (word of mouth referral) and demonstrate loyalty to that brand in the future.
To learn more about creating a sensational customer experience in your business, we have lots of tips in ‘Turning Customer Service Into a Competitive Advantage’.
This core module is included when you purchase the ‘Essential Service Skills’ online learning program.
*Source, Satmetrix.com, Net Promoter Score: http://www.satmetrix.com/solutions/nps-program-design-services/
*Source, Bain & Company: http://www.netpromotersystem.com/about/benefits-of-net-promoter.aspx
Shelley Thomson is a Net Promoter Certified Associate.
The Net Promoter System is based on asking customers the question : “How likely is it you would recommend us to a friend”. The answer scale is from 0 – 10, 0 being not at all likely to recommend, while 10 is extremely likely to recommend.
While the score is at the heart of a Net Promoter System, you can’t take action if you don’t know why a customer is or is not “likely to recommend.” You should always follow up the Ultimate Question with “why”.
While easy to grasp, the NPS metric represents a radical change in the way companies manage customer relationships, organise for growth and can help transform your organisation.