The leaky tap – are your customers happy?

We all try to do the best for our customers, but do we know if they are happy? There might be something which they see as having gone wrong with our service, and we do not even know about it. We cannot put it right if we don’t know.

As someone who has many landlords as clients, I take an interest in the property rental market. Sooner or later, if a house or flat is being let, something will go wrong. Maybe the stair carpet is coming loose, maybe there is a damp patch, and perhaps there is a dripping tap which might not just be annoying but do damage.

Most tenants would tell the landlord or the letting agent, and the problem would be fixed. Strangely, some tenants never complain. They just give their notice and leave, and it is only then that the landlord finds out they were unhappy. Really, no one likes to lose a tenant and have a break in the rent.

It is the same with those of us who sell goods or services. Even if we believe we have done our best, there will be customers who have not been happy, but did not tell us. They just did not come back for more of our offering.

How do we avoid this problem? Well, we can’t altogether, because some people will not tell us even when we ask what they think about us. However, we must make sure that we always do ask, and with the right feedback, we can make amends and get even better at what we do.

Always ask all your customers and clients if they are happy or if there is anything you can do better. You can never keep them all for ever, but you can retain more for longer. Perhaps some of your “natural wastage” can be avoided.

 

Professional arrogance

Good customer experience

Having recently been on the wrong end of a less-than-helpful experience dealing with a professional in another field, it made me think about the traps we can all fall into when dealing with our clients and customers.

Keeping our eyes on the ball

We all have our particular areas of expertise. We have worked hard to know what we do and to be in able to provide the service our customers look for. Sometimes it may be that their expectation is not met, even though we think we have done what we were asked. There is sometimes a difference between giving people what we understood they asked for and what they were expecting in terms of a customer experience. There may be a danger that they will pay us what we asked because they cannot deny we delivered something. That something may not quite be what they were expecting and they will not come to us again when they have a need. Did we play the ball they bowled or some other ball we saw in our mind’s eye?

I may have been guilty in my long-gone corporate days. Did we deliver what the client wanted of our team or was I too eager to sell what we had which appeared to fit their need?. Did I ask if they were happy? Was I so arrogant as to assume that they were without asking?

Listen before, and listen afterwards

More than ever, and even if we are running a successful business in this difficult market, we need to listen to our customer. Do we understand what they want? Can we deliver it? After we have done what we thought they asked for, have we asked them if they are happy. Do they need an extra tweak to what they have bought from us? Is it what they wanted?

Many Happy Returns

It is only by listening to our customers from start to finish that we can be sure they are happy and will come back to us. With any luck they will give us an unsolicited testimonial, and they are the best sort. What do you think?

 

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