by Jude Carter
You can’t have a business without customers. It’s no secret that excellent customer service can be a great competitive advantage…and have a direct impact on the bottom line. Yet, it’s easy to fall into the squeaky wheel syndrome with customers.
You know, running as fast as you can to address and solve issues as they arise. While that’s a key ingredient to successful customer service, it isn’t the whole story.
Lurking in the shadows are the “silent customers” who are stewing but not speaking up…at least not to you. They may be telling everyone else about their miserable experience with you. On average, dissatisfied customers will tell 8-16 people.
A recent study from the University of Florida found that for every registered complaint, there are 25 unregistered ones.
What can you do?
It’s all about being pro-active in creating a forum for customers to express themselves. It can be as simple as regular calls or visits to check in and see how they (and you) are doing. It’s not limited to the activities of your customer service department. When sales or account people check in regularly, or executives randomly call customers, it goes a long way in showing them that you value their business.
Customer surveys can be an effective tool for measuring customer loyalty, especially when they are designed to find out specifically what their needs are and how they are currently being met…or not.
You can’t fix what you don’t know about. Give ‘em a chance to speak up! Then you can dazzle them with your ability to provide a solution.