Why is it that when you spend lot of time and money developing customers, when you finally succeed in persuading them to purchase something, you do something to annoy them?
I don’t know the answer either, but there must be one, because so many businesses do just that.
You know, the sort. Those whose customer services number should be 0800 ALWAYS BUSY. Or those who are graduates from the School of Rudeness. Then there are the customer service departments full of people who make Mike Tyson look like pussy.
I expect the bosses of these firms would be horrified to see their staff treating customers as if they were so plentiful that they could afford to lose bunch.
But in the end it really is the boss’ fault that customers are being turned off. Here are four reasons why.
1.It was the boss who hired them in the first place. Think about your own situation. Did you hire your people because they had spectacular attitude towards customer service, had product knowledge, or just happened to be handy? Do your customers hear your staff say, “That’s not my responsibility,” “We don’t do that,” “I don’t know,” “Most of our customers are happy with that,” “They don’t pay me to do that”?
2.It’s the boss’ job to provide training, coaching and performance reviews. Do your people know their strengths and weaknesses, particularly in the area of customer relations? Have you implemented process for providing customer feedback to all staff, especially front line staff. Do staff attend regular training courses? Athletes train, actors rehearse, operators learn how to operate machine before taking over, but most people who have customer contact just walk in and start doing what they do. The trouble is, what they do is costing you customers.
3.The boss gives the wrong direction. In spite of customer focused mission and vision statements, the boss’ actions and words tell people what’s really important. Take the case of bus service in rural England where drivers drove past long queues of passengers without stopping (they did smile and wave). “It’s impossible for drivers to keep to their timetables if they stop for passengers,” explained company official. Guess what mattered most to management?
4.Company policy, for which the boss is ultimately responsible, prevents staff from satisfying customers. Do your staff say, “Our policy is e,” “You’ll have to call back between 9am and 5pm,” “We cannot do that becausee,” Don’t forget your customers don’t want to hear “No”. From you, they want 100 percent solutions to their problems, not more problems.
So, do your customers and yourself favour this year. Make it your goal to eliminate company policies and staff behaviours that annoy your customers. You worked hard to attract them and they are worth lot of money to you. Why give them reason to leave.
From 10 Steps to Being Customer Driven, by Ian Brooks