Quoting one of the most simple mantras you can learn in business, ‘You can’t improve what you don’t measure”. It applies all across the board and could be the largest oversight that is costing you serious revenue.
Like ripples in still water, poor customer service habits are the epicenter of what eventually will negatively echo into all facets of your company. Luckily it is measurable and is a great pulse of how well your business is bringing products or services to the customer.
For business owners, customer service is undeniably one of the most important areas to focus on from the start of your business. Of course in every example of GREAT customer service, one could easily find a not so GREAT example too.
Even what most people express as ‘good’ customer service can still be debated. Mistakes happen, and it’s only normal to have experienced the most negative customer to deal with from time to time. You can anticipate the occasional ‘poor’ service experience to happen and with the right recovery process in place, the steps to overcome happen fairly easily.
Those situations that are not so easily resolved are usually considered universally unacceptable. Some examples of this are:
• Lacking sense of urgency
• Accuracy issues or no attention to detail
• Poorly trained staff
• Lacking experience and knowledge
• Broken promises
The consequences for some of these can make huge impacts on your business’s bottom line and severely affect reputation. For some businesses in this industry, reputation is MOST necessary and should be preserved at all cost.
There’s silver lining to this story in that even the worst customer service habits can be reversed without detrimental damage to your brand. Timeliness will be the key factor in how well you handle any situation.
The true cost of bad customer service comes together quite quickly if you think about it. The ‘customer support’ action is a very experiential opportunity to connect with your customers on an emotional level. When a negative experience happens, it can start an onslaught of time consumption, promotional cost, negative impact on morale, loss of reputation and could end with you losing customers you may have never had. Think about how far the average negative experience is reaching. With Yelp, Google and many other platforms that have the vehicle for customers to drive their voice further into the areas where most are looking for more information about your business.
Did you know that over three-quarters of your customers will just never return from a bad service experience? Yes, you read that correctly. On the flip side, another three-quarter of customers will recommend a business to a friend or family member after a great experience. I don’t know about you, but anything over 25% of negative impact in my business process would call for immediate attention, let alone 75%.
Why does bad customer service happen?
Most often I have found that companies know what should go into delivering exceptional customer experience. Sadly the failure point is in its execution. With all of the reasons why this occurs, let’s focus on a few areas of the people management process that should be first in your sights for ‘why did this happen?’.
At Hire. Recruiting the right people with a positive customer service mindset is not the easiest. We set out to hire with skill and competence at the forefront, but also want to discover candidates with an ability to learn and progress over time. Get creative with your questions and craft the interview that gives you best return on your hired investment.
Company Culture. When company culture contributes to bad customer experiences, the vision has been lost or was never set. It is really as simple as that. Creating a standard from the start gives you the ability to onboard people to build teams where delivering the standard comes naturally. That’s when collectively the culture supports the vision and when customers see a synergistic team, they are impressed.
Training Winners. The highest standard in positive support is training. This isn’t just at orientation type of stuff either. This is the entire professional progression with continuous personal and developmental goals that benefit the employee and business at the same time.
Ignoring Negative Reviews. Accepting a bad review constructively is one of the best habits you can adopt as a leader. If you’re a business owner, most likely you have earned your stripes through years of performance reviews and personal development to know how valuable it is to take every review and truly try to ‘fix the problem’. Learn the right way to respond to negative reviews.
What is the Result?
Kiss your Reputation Goodbye. Warren Buffet once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
You probably have heard that one before, but seriously it is extremely valuable to keep your brand’s reputation high and always be in control of it. We’re in the digital age and with the aid of the internet, your reputation is more vulnerable than it has ever been.
Customers today are quick to write negative reviews online when they have a bad experience with a company. It’s no secret that customers are quick to vent their frustrations on social media for their friends, family, and co-workers to see. You can capitalize on knowing that nearly all reviewers tell at least one person about a negative experience with a company, and even more concerning, at least half will tell more than 5 people.
Tons of people are influenced by an online review when making a buying decision every day. Negative reviews will compound and you will see an overall decrease in sales. You’ll also lose a major leg of your business which is growing the audience just from word-of-mouth interactions. Free advertising just from doing a good job is easily within grasp.
The Bottom Line Is…
With the loss of current customers, future customers, reputation, profits, and employees at stake, poor levels of customer service can result in the loss of even the most forgiving of customers. When a customer experiences poor service level, they will tell their many people around them about the bad experience to warn them away. Wouldn’t you?
So the value of potential customers is decreasing exponentially once they have already formed a negative opinion of your business. Sometimes this happens and they haven’t even stepped foot into the door.
Consumers will stay do business with a company it becomes a habit, they’re in need for a particular product or service, or simply because it is convenient. When a customer is faced with a challenging or unpleasant event caused in your business, the willingness of that person to do business will diminish.
Always look got the signs, continue to raise awareness and jump into action immediately when improving service levels because it matters that much. It also can keep another potential, as well as current, businesses from partnering with you, which is never good. Consider your vendors. Consider your neighboring competitor. They can capitalize on your misfortune and that’s never where you want to be.
Try not to limit your ability to discover promising employment candidates from any negative reviews. Stories where customers are being treated poorly can reflect negatively on your business and a potential employee may be deterred. High turnover in your workforce can cost serious time and money.
Let’s be honest. It is truly about standing proudly by your business and your employees. Having a customer make the decision to spend their hard-earned money at your business is rewarding and all of your efforts and invested hours you have sunk into it ultimately goes to waste the moment you start giving customers a reason to not come back. You want them to come back. SVBS
John Bailey | Marketing Manager for DAVINCI VAPORIZER. John brings over 10 years experience in business management, marketing, branding and now cannabis education. John has a strong passion for health and fitness and is a fan of Doctor Who, dark scotch, anything outdoors, and photography. Contact him at (512) 954-4630 or by email at [email protected]