Assessing Customer Experiences

Last week this blog delved into statistics regarding customers who may have had a less than stellar experience when they visited your business. We discovered that the percentage of customers that you think were satisfied with their visit was not necessarily in line with the number of customers who actually were satisfied.

Also, we learned that only a small percentage of dissatisfied customers take the time to complain. The rest just don’t return.

After publication of this blog, I received an email from one reader regarding the best ways to contact customers. He was concerned that calling people may be intrusive and they may not be comfortable telling you what they really think. Good point and one that is raised regularly during seminars and conference sessions.

The first thing to do is to ask customers how they would like to be contacted. Would they be open to a phone call or prefer to be contacted via email, text or mail. How customers prefer to be contacted many times has to do with their generation. Text is the favorite for Millennials and younger people, while some Gen X or Boomers may prefer email or even mail. Step one is always to identify the wishes of individual customers.

If you don’t have this information on your individual customer records, procuring the information gives you a reason to call your regular customers and double check. Most of your regular customers are not going to mind an occasional phone call. In fact, in many cases it is going to strengthen your relationship with these customers as you are initiating a more personal interaction. While you are on the phone and the opportunity presents itself, this is a great time to tell the customer of any exciting opportunities to purchase. Remember that these people are regular customers because they like you and your products.

Once you have the information on how they want to be contacted, make sure you have the address or phone number in order to follow up. Also get their agreement (in writing) with a follow up email that you as them to sign and return.

Your consideration for how your customers wish to be contacted will just deepen the relationship you have with them and they will appreciate the courtesy.

A tip of the glass from me to you!

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How Involved Are Your Customers With Your Business?

One way to keep your customers engaged and connected with your business is to encourage them to become more involved. The easiest way to do that is to solicit their opinions and feedback. Of course, it can sometimes be difficult to hear that you are not doing as well as you may think you are in certain areas. Though, at the same time, if you are getting straightforward and honest input from your target audience, the information can be amazingly helpful.

Your customers may have a very different take on the effectiveness of your marketing and advertising. The emails, newsletters and even your website may benefit greatly from the information you get from your customers.

What information do you have regarding how often customers read your emails? Do they read all of them? Do they read one in three? What makes them want to read your emails?  Is it the subject line? Is it because they know there will be an offer that will benefit them? If you don’t know the reasons that they are opening the emails, you can’t craft them to be successful.

You can also invite some of your regular customers to participate in a small group meeting to talk about what makes them buy the product and what you could do to make the product more interesting to different types of people. Invite the participants to lunch to thank them for their time, or organize a tasting or other small function to that will take place after you have their input to thank them.

Don’t forget your employees, they have unique insights into the business, what works and what doesn’t. Not only managers – include everyone who is part of the work force should be asked for their opinions. Not only should you come up with some new ideas, you will end up with employees that are more loyal and more aware of what the customers are asking for and what they are most interested in.

So take some time to send out some short surveys three or four times each year and perhaps add in some phone calls to customers taking up five minutes or less of their time to get great information.

A tip of the glass from me to you! e_T4Q6892 low-res -c bw s