Surveys Show that Customer Service Still Rules

Customer Service Boutique ShoppingInnovative products, knowledgeable employees and convenient locations aren’t enough to retain clients. In fact, exceptional customer service is more important than ever in today’s de-personalized world. Customers may put up with poor customer service on occasion, but if it is habitual or offensive, we’re moving on.

Poor customer service will cost you.

Come on in, the boutique sign said. So naturally, I assumed I’d be welcomed and greeted in a friendly manner. The person who greeted me wasn’t very welcoming, so I offered to return another time. In her least pleasant customer service voice she said, “I’ll be with you after I finish this.” I didn’t like her tone, so I repeated my offer to return at a later time. In an even more disrespectful voice she repeated, “I’ll be with you after I finish this. This inventory is a mess.” No need. I was out the door, and needless to say, I never returned.

You may be confident that your service is impeccable, but what do your clients think? When was the last time you asked them? A survey is the perfect tool to find out what your customers are really thinking and to find out more about their needs.

Use Surveys To Measure Customer Satisfaction

Surveys are invaluable to delivering on-going great customer service and in ensuring that your products and services are meeting the needs of your customers. Use a survey format most appropriate for your audience. Options range from asking for an online review, sending a link to an online survey that you created, a mailed postcard, or a comment card available at your location. Be creative and keep it short!

In the meantime, below are tips that you can put in place today that will lead to great customer surveys, and perhaps even a few testimonials.

Good service begins with good decisions.

  • Hire the right people. If they have no manners in the interview, don’t expect more when you’re not looking.
  • Train your people. Be clear about your service expectations. If you expect a polite greeting, eye contact, a smile and a hearty thank you on every occasion, be clear with your employees and model these behaviors on a regular basis. Make service a topic of employee meetings.
  • Keep your employees accountable. How do you deal with an employee who is not measuring up? Is customer service part of your review and compensation plan? Think of ways you can bring focus to the level of service being offered.

Service isn’t good unless the customer thinks it is.

  • Be responsive. When a customer complains, try to find a resolution. Most irate customers are placated when you listen and work to meet their needs.
  • Listen in. How are your customers interacting with your employees?
  • Ask. Before your customers leave, ask them if there anything else you can do to make their experience even better. You could uncover an opportunity to fix what went wrong.
  • Ask again. Make customer surveys available and let customers know how valuable their input is. Send personal letters to address unhappy customers, and celebrate good service by recognizing employees.

The principles of customer service are very basic, but they are also lasting. Be sure to make great customer service one of your springtime priorities!

Your customers choose where to spend their money. Make sure it’s with your business.

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

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