It was the fifth day of Customer Service Week (09/10/20) run by the Institute of Customer Service. That day’s theme was Insight: Knowing your customer and how to deliver to them.
Know your customers and sell them more
Like any relationship, people buy from people. Get to know, like and trust your customers, as people. If you get to know your customers then you will grow to like them and trust them in the same way that they will with you.
Get feedback at appropriate and the most useful times
Ask customers for feedback, but not at the end of the whole transaction. Their last memory of doing business with you will be one of having to do a survey. It also benefits you, it doesn’t benefit them. Why should they do it? When you do work you get paid for it, right? They are paying you for a product or service, so why aren’t you paying them in some way? Provide an incentive, a small discount perhaps, and not just entering them into a competition!
Treating customers as individuals
Some customers don’t want to email, some don’t want to spend more time on the phone giving feedback at the end of the call, some don’t see any value in ticking a smiley face after an online chat. But many of them DO want to tell you what you did well and where you can improve.
Customer Service: 5 ways to get rave reviews & referralsfree download which shows how a few tweaks to customer service can help you treat customers as individuals and increase sales.
Ensure a variety of different methods for customers to give feedback. You should be aware of the limitations and issues with each method and monitor accordingly. Think about simply asking “Would you recommend us to a friend?” which will often provide you with the same valuable information as if you had asked 10 questions. But remember if that is an appropriate question for your service/product. There’s always the option for the customer to give you more details if they want to do so. Again be wary of all “Yes” answers, as they could be saying that just to be quick! And ensure that the feedback is anonymous, so that people don’t feel that they have to give only positive feedback.
Make giving feedback fun
You could invite customers in for a fun event. (Covid safe or park the idea for when you can). For example, wine and nibbles whilst getting their feedback. Invite the customers to interview you, make videos, let them share their needs with you and the get them to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly. Invite customers who have complained about your service, as they are the people you will learn the most from and who can be turned into loyal customers who will shout about your business.
Back staff management to go face to face with customers
Senior management staff could learn a lot about their customers by going onto the shop floor or answering the phones too. Certainly making an effort to reach vulnerable customers in the community will have benefits all round.
Use the feedback
When you receive the feedback, use it. Use it to shape your business and most of all go back to the customers who gave you the feedback and thank them. A thank you goes a long way and a customer who knows their opinion has been valuable and useful is going to be your best advocate.
How do you get feedback?
The Complaining Cow free support for businesses
Join the Facebook Group Customer Service: Compassion, Care and Integrity A private group where you can give and get support, advice and share good practice on how to improve complaint handling.
Free download Customer Service: 5 ways to get rave reviews & referrals a few tweaks to your customer service can help you reduce risk to reputation, finances and impact on customers and increase sales.
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