80% of companies believe they deliver a superior Customer Experience; however, only 8% of their customers agree.
Clearly, here is an example of perception disconnect. If you are a smart business leader, you will pay more attention to the perception of the customer since it is their buying behavior that drives your profitability.
But why is there this much of a difference in perception?
First off, I think that most companies genuinely do believe that they deliver excellent service. They know that they tell their staff during training to deliver good customer service and feel it happens naturally. Most business owners would honestly tell you that they would gladly improve the customer service they are delivering if there was a need for it. I think it’s highly unlikely that any business out there sets out to deliver poor service. But they often think that because leadership sings the “Let’s deliver good service” song, that it happens with just that minimal effort.
The key word there is effort. We’ve all heard that all things worth having require some effort – take this into the business perspective. If you want customers, you need to work at it. If you want them to stay with your company and be happy about it, it takes even a bit more effort. The nice thing is that it is simple. Simple doesn’t mean easy, but it is much easier than most companies realize.
- Just use your manners.
- Be polite.
- Say please and thank you.
- Don’t interrupt.
- Train your staff to deliver excellent service by telling them and showing them exactly what you expect and what the customers want.
- Thank your customers for their business and ask them to come back again.
- When they do come back, interact with them and ask them how you can better serve them.
Just by doing these things, the customer satisfaction levels will increase dramatically.
It also comes back to the fact that many customers will claim to be satisfied, yet will actually leave the business without telling management why. Think about it – haven’t you ever been in a restaurant and had the manager come by to ask you how everything was? Most patrons simply say everything was fine because 1) they don’ think the manager really cares to hear the truth, or 2) they don’t want to address the problem themselves. They’ll just eat at another restaurant next time.
The strategy here is to ask probing questions and pay extra attention to the way the questions are answered. Look for hesitancy. That is a big clue that there is more than meets the eye. The right questions will help draw out the answers you need in order to truly delight your customers and keep them coming back for more.