I have had a couple of experiences this week that reiterate the rules for customer service. The first experience relates to my car service and the second to my website hosting package. Why are these three rules important? A 5% increase in customer retention can increase business profits by 25% to 125% and it is easier to retain your customers if you know what they think of your service, you meet their expectations and you act on their feedback.
1. Ask your customer for feedback. Both suppliers did this and gave me the opportunity to respond. How many times do we, as customers, just decide “well I won’t go there/use them again”. We do not like to complain yet if we are asked, we will give our opinion.
2. Meet expectations – consistently. The last time my car was serviced, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the garage had cleaned the car, inside and out, including the leather upholstery. This time, the car had a cursory wash and vacuum but no upholstery attention. This wasn’t featured in the service, however, the garage had raised expectations and when they did not meet them, I was disappointed. If you deliver something over and above, you need to be prepared to deliver it consistently from then on.
3. Act on feedback. The garage called and asked for my opinion on the service. I told them about the cleaning and the fact that the service record was incomplete as the mechanic’s PC wasn’t working properly (the reason I was given). What happened? Nothing. No further contact has been received. The website hosting company called and I mentioned that I hadn’t been able to log onto the training course. The caller told me he would organise this and gave me his email details in case I didn’t hear anything. It wasn’t even his area as he was responding to an email password problem not website training. Asking for feedback and then not acting upon it is worse than ignoring your customer.
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The Week: A relatively quiet client week which allowed me to catch up with service development, marketing and admin. I had a great meeting on Wednesday with a company offering lifestyle wealth management. We discuss how our relative services complimented each other and what opportunities there might be to broaden our relative offerings to our combined contact list. There is an increasing trend for SMEs and individual business owners to work as Associates to offer a broader and larger service and it is one that works well. I continued to develop my Masterclass on Board Level Behaviours and Competencies and future Forum events for The Leadership Forum and Highflyingdivas. It was again encouraging to hear of some further business two Leadership Forum members have secured with each other. Why not join our LinkedIn Group, follow us on Twitter or find out more at www.lshipforum.com.
Reading for the week:
In leadership coaching you start with understanding goals, motivations and values. Mike Figliuolo also uses this approach in One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership. Try it.
Lighter Reflections: I have learnt a lesson this week about the risks of a family email account. We finally agreed to Guy having a facebook account which we linked with our family email. We have since been bombarded with up to 5 emails a day of people asking to be confirmed as friends. Guy of course ignores these requests and in desperation I entered his Facebook and confirmed a whole load of them. Guy was not impressed! I was then flicking through and pruning email receipts and hit the delete button on one for James. This was from one of the partners of his new flying syndicate with whom he seems to be starting an email war (too long to go into the reasons in this blog!). So you can imagine his delight when he found that I had deleted it especially as it was highly likely that the sender had probably put a Read Receipt on it. He would have received a response of “your email to James Cooper has been deleted without opening”. What could this lead to, I wonder? Night-time sabotage of the aeroplane? Time to step up, confess and then hide in the garage I think!
Future Forum Dates:
Highflyingdivas, London, 28th Feb – 3 places left