These days a lot of us talk about customer retention. And we should. It’s a big deal. If our customers are coming back it’s probably because we’re doing something right. We’re giving them what they want. We’re helping them. And that’s why we’re in business.
It’s also the biggest challenge we face.
How do we continue giving our customers what they want (and do it better than anyone else)? That is the question and the opportunity. And the answer starts with talking to your customers. Connect with them. Because only they can tell you what they want from you, and how you’re doing delivering it. If you don’t ask, most will not tell you.
I’ve heard studies that suggest only 4% of our customers will take it upon themselves to tell us how we’re doing. Actually I think that number is high. I think less than 1% will tell us what they think without us asking. Because most organizations make it hard to offer feedback.
You know what I’m talking about.
You’re at a restaurant. The service is slow or inattentive or there’s a problem with the food. You say something to your server and they get defensive. Or they apologize and do nothing else. Your feedback goes nowhere.
Or you’re at your car dealership getting your oil changed. The service was amazing. The employees were polite, friendly and helpful. They went out of their way to make sure you and your car were well taken care of. As you drive away you’d like to let someone know what a great job they’re doing. So you call the main phone number. But you get a telephone tree. Not sure who to ask for you eventually find someone’s voice mail. You hang up frustrated because you have no idea if your feedback will go anywhere.
We all have had experiences where we’d like to offer feedback to a business yet we have no easy way to do so. It feels like a battle.
And the result is a happy, even thrilled customer, can turn sour because they are unable to easily offer feedback. Much of the goodwill a business creates by delivering great customer service can be destroyed when a customer finds themselves unable to offer feedback in an easy and convenient way.
What a waste!
And the solution is simple:
Make it easy and convenient for your customers to offer feedback.
Set up multiple ways for your customers to reach you. And let them know. For example, a customer support hotline does no good if nobody knows the phone number.
And, after they give you feedback, thank them, tell them how you’ll use it and, (most important) do something with it.
Direct customer feedback is priceless information. It’s all about how to make your business better. And it’s out there just waiting for you – no charge! Make it easy and convenient for your customers to offer feedback and they will. And they’ll keep coming back because they know you care.