Obstacles to delivering exceptional service present themselves in a number of ways. Remained unchecked, they’ll quickly become difficult challenges to hurdle—ultimately leading to poor sales and lean profit margins.
So, how does one overcome such hindrances? One of the best ways is to ask clients a simple question: “What obstacles prevent you from having great experiences with us?”. Caution: This is an open ended question that basically asks, “what are we doing wrong and how are we preventing you from doing more business with us?”. Do NOT ask this question if you aren’t prepared to hear completely honest and hard answers. Customers are eager to give their opinions; that said, their opinions may be offered in a manner in which you may not be ready to receive. So, brace yourself. Get ready. Make a plan for change and implementation.
Make time for you and your team to work on fresh ideas about customer satisfaction. Focus on typical customer irritations such as:
- Failure to back up product based on implied or expressed warranty; price not being equal to quality of product/service. This is a ‘value’ deficiency.
- Lack of civility, courtesy, and respect from sales people and other employees; slow service; salesperson engaged in idle “chit chat” with colleagues or on personal phone calls; criticizing colleagues/management in front of customers. This is a ‘people’ deficiency.
- Slow internet service; unable to get a “live” articulate person on the telephone for customer assistance; website inaccessible on mobile devices; digital customer service is subpar. This is a ‘systems’ deficiency.
- Brick and mortar establishment/parking lot is dirty; shelves are cluttered and messy; lack of inventory; poor footprint flow. This is an ‘establishment’ deficiency.
These are a few examples of customer annoyances and a sure way to send customers into the waiting arms of your competitors. Especially when it comes to the digital experience which has become a primary factor for separating businesses on the upward trajectory of customer service than those who are lacking in this skill.
The customer experience is all about building relationships. Take seriously when consumers complain, rant, and rave. Use all of it as teachable moments to understand how to take experiences to the next level and delivering “WOW !” moments on the customer mapping journey.
You are an overcomer! Make things happen, do them well, and remain exceptional.