5 Things Your Customers Won’t Tell You
Today’s post “5 Things Your Customer Won’t Tell You” was prompted by something that happened years ago. I was working for an international hotel chain, and part of my job was dealing with my colleagues in other hotels all over Asia. I was shocked at the lengths they would go to avoid sharing bad news, however, they were always very happy to be brutally honest in other areas (“hi, great to see you, wow, you’ve put on some weight..!”) would be totally acceptable, whereas, if there was any bad news to share, they avoided it at all costs..
I learnt that this was, in fact, a major cultural difference. Being direct, was considered friendly. Sharing bad news was to be avoided at all costs and considered impolite.
Which prompted me to wonder – how would this translate to a business?
If your clients are being polite, how can you understand the experience that your customer is having with your business?
Customer research suggests that 96% of people won’t bother to file a complaint with a business. Ouch. That’s a lot of people who won’t say a word. Why? It’s a combination of customers just not caring enough, some who don’t want a confrontation with you, and others who are just way too busy to care.
What about the other 4%? Well they are the people who have had a bad experience with your business, and they tell you about it, which is great. They give you the opportunity to come good, to get back on track with them. But here’s the stinger…. the other 96% don’t give you that opportunity, AND, they will probably tell people about their bad experience with your company..
So here are 5 things most customers won’t tell you (but you should definitely know)…
1. Dirty Offices
Have you ever heard of domestic blindness? Well there’s also it’s cousin, ‘business blindness’. You may not notice that your premises are in dire need of a re-paint, or you need to get someone in to fix that squeaky front door, but your clients and prospects do. It’s not a great impression if a customer needs to use the bathroom while they’re at your office, and your commercial office cleaning company haven’t left any paper hand towels, soap or even worse toilet paper… These are all things that customers notice but business owners with ‘business blindness’ don’t notice… TIP: Start to notice. If things don’t look great fix them. If your office cleaning is done once a week, but you need more visits, spend a few extra dollars and get it done – your staff and customers will love you for it…
2. Rude Employees
Clients will leave a business if they encounter rude, or unhelpful employees. Here’s the thing. Being rude is a decision. If you have staff who have a bad attitude, or who are unable to communicate politely with your clients, you need to make some changes. Fast. Customers won’t put up with rudeness. There are plenty of other places they can spend their money. Unfortunately, this is another area where people prefer to just avoid the conflict – and vote with their feet by leaving your business.
If you have staff in your business who have a bad attitude or are rude – you have 3 options – you can provide additional training to educate them, you can move them into positions that do not interact with customers, or you can find new employees who will be bright and cheerful to deal with.
3. A Bad Website
These days, if you don’t have a good website that’s easy to navigate, and provides a good customer experience, Google will probably punish you for it with lower rankings. However, also consider this: if a prospective client comes to your ageing, poorly designed website, and they themselves, have a nice looking, user-friendly website, there’s a higher than average chance, they will find another company to provide that service or product to them.
Business is competitive. There’s just no excuse for a slow, or poorly organised website, and if you have a website like this, now’s the time to change…
I recently met a business owner at an industry conference. I was looking at hiring his business, however once I saw their website (which was really low quality), I found someone else. I know I should tell them, but honestly, I probably won’t… (maybe they’ll be reading this post though…)
4. What Others Are Saying About You
What do you do when other people tell you about their bad experience with a company? If you’re like many people, you’ll avoid that company and find someone else right? Well, not always (think of some of those crazy Tripadvisor reviewers I’ve read in the past..!), but often, if you do use the company, you probably won’t say anything to them about hearing bad feedback..
We live in a world where everything is now ‘out there’ on social media – and yes, sometimes people unfairly post very negative comments – so make sure you Google your company name from time to time to see if there’s any negative feedback about you. If there is, make sure you contact the person, and see if you can find out about their experience, and then rectify it.
5. Your Competitor is Way Cheaper
The taxi industry is a perfect example here. Uber exploded into our world just a few years ago, and today, they are responsible for massive disruption of the multi-billion dollar taxi industry. Competition is relentless, and to thrive, you need to be constantly innovating your product, and service offering.
Because if you don’t, your customers will just head over to your competitor for a better deal – and, they won’t tell you why, they’ll just go..
So how can you find out this kind of information from your customers?
Ok, we’ve identified those things that most customers won’t tell you, but how can you encourage customers to share their experiences (good and bad) so you can try to fix what’s broken, create products that customers want and use customer testimonies to encourage new customers.
Customer Satisfaction Survey
Customer satisfaction surveys can help to identify what is working (and what isn’t) inside of your business, and today, using tools like Survey Monkey or SurveyGizmo, you can create, send and analyse the data very easily.. but be careful…. not too many questions, or your return rate will plummet.
Customer Comment Cards
I was departing a hotel in the US recently, and as we hopped in our taxi to the airport, the doorman gave us a card and asked us to provide feedback on our stay. On the card was the URL to leave the the feedback, and an explanation of why they were asking us to do this for them. They made it easy for us to complete this while we were on our way to the airport – so we did…!
The best feedback often happens while your customer is in the middle of their purchase experience. Capture these valuable consumer responses while the experience is still fresh in their mind.
No matter what type of business you are in, mistakes happen sometimes and, most reasonable customers understand that. However, they also expect you to ‘own’ the responsibility, and make things right.
Which is why it is crucial that every organisation have a complaint recovery process. This is a process which allows every member of your team, to be able to fix customer problems – quickly. Organisations who do a great job of handling customer complaints, build a loyal base of committed customers.
Final Thought: Instead of thinking of it as a customer complaint, think of it as feedback, great feedback for your business to do better in the future, to meet the needs of your customer better, and remember, customers who share feedback with you, are giving you a great gift. Information, in the voice of the customer… wouldn’t you rather that, than learn …
….the “5 Things Your Customers Won’t Tell You” the hard way..?
NEED MORE INFORMATION?
Here at Cleancorp, we take the hard work out of hiring an office cleaning service because we use the “POV” principal – we look at things from your Point Of View, the Office Manager. Everyday our Team Members work hard to ensure you don’t have any cleaning hassles when you come in of a morning – you just come in to a clean, fresh business space – guaranteed.
How do we make sure everything works? Firstly, it’s our team of dedicated professional cleaners, and secondly, our internal processes and systems. We’re triple ISO Certified to the International Standard in Quality: AS/NZS ISO 9001:2008, Environmental Management AS/NZS ISO 14001:2004 and; OH&S AS/NZS ISO 4801:2001…
Ready to make the switch to a cleaning service you can count on? Call us today 1300 211 944.