The Customer Experience Audit

customer service

About a year ago I was doing yard work (which I hate) bagging grass clippings and weeds. I had about five body bag-sized bags of waste when I realized the main diamond from my wedding ring was gone. I panicked, looked all over, and prayed to St. Anthony all at the same time. My husband was about to call the insurance company when he noticed something on the floor by the refrigerator. It was my diamond. We couldn’t believe how lucky we were.

Since that happened, I have been a little paranoid about my ring and when it kept snagging on things, I decided to get it checked at the jeweler who we have been going to for years. They examined it and said all was fine. They cleaned it and it sparkled like new. Less than one week later, I noticed a small channel diamond was missing. I was kind of upset because I had just had it checked. The owner of the jewelry store explained that sometimes during the cleaning, diamonds can be loosened. He then tried to talk me into reconfiguring the ring for about $2,500. I decided to just replace the missing stone, which he charged me for.

Guess what? A short time later the main prong holding my diamond in place was completely bent. We went to a different jeweler, who again cleaned and fixed the prong, FOR FREE. He recommended adding some more gold to the bottom in a few months’ time. We had found a new jeweler.

Over the past three years, four-fifths of America’s fastest growing companies have initiated important new programs aimed at customer expansion, customer retention and/or customer profitability. And, as if this significant involvement were not enough, a majority are planning to either greatly enhance an existing customer initiative, or launch a new one over the next 12 months according to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ “Trendsetter Barometer.”

So how do you improve customer service?

  • Stay in contact with customers on a regular basis; direct mail, email, phone or even meet face to face.
  • Create a customer focus group, send out a monthly survey to this group asking for ideas and input on how to improve your customer service.
  • Have a social media outlet just for them.
  • Have a website that is easy to navigate. Johnson Direct has designed some outstanding sites. Visit http://www.johnsondirect.com/webslideshow/
  • Resolve customer complaints quickly and completely. Although the customer isn’t always right, without them, you wouldn’t be in business.
  • Don’t make your customers or visitors hunt for your contact information. This is a particular pet peeve of mine. Who has 10 minutes to waste looking for an 800 number?
  • Always treat people the way you would want to be treated.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you give customers the attention they deserve?
  • Are you really trying to meet their needs?
  • Do people in your field recognize you as an expert?
  • Are you communicating effectively with your clients?
  • Would they recommend your company to a friend?
  • Have you created any raving fans?
  • Do you stand behind your work/product?

No matter what business you are in, it is important to ask yourself these things.

Pay attention to the people who already believe in you and a wonderful thing happens – you grow, people WANT to refer others to you and your new business efforts become easier.

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