Is Your Customer Always Right?
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying time and time again, “the customer is ALWAYS right,” it essentially defines the retail and service sales industry. But is it always true?
While the phrase still has a strong influence, when it comes to the trade business industry, it can be a little… outdated.
The reality is, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter whether the customer is right or wrong, instead, it’s about how they feel.
If a customer FEELS like they’ve been (‘ripped off’/treated poorly/the work wasn’t done to their standard/etc.), the odds of them turning to social media or google to post a review of your business ARE HIGH!
Technology is giving the customer POWER! The power to share their opinions with the wider public and discourage potential customers from using your services. It only takes a few minutes for them to post a review and ruin your credibility!
So how do you regain the POWER?
Through customer service…
Using customer service correctly will help you form relationships with your customers and make them feel ‘valued’.
So if they do have a complaint to bring up with you. They are more likely to come to you first, listening to your side of the story /your advice and providing you with a chance to solve their issue, rather than heading straight to your social media page to post a terrible review.
For example, if a customer feels like the price was too high for the work completed, they will come to you and give you the chance to explain why you need to charge as much as you did.
The customer, in this instance, believed they were right, but gave you the chance to prove otherwise.
The power is now in your hands.
Making them feel valued and forming a relationship from the ‘get-go’ is simple, it’s all about communication and satisfaction…
1. Communication Is Key
Cliché, we know… BUT it’s true.
From the moment the customer calls you to book in a job, you need to be focusing on what they are saying at every point of contact.
If they are talking to you, but can tell that you’re distracted (perhaps you’ve answered the phone whilst on the job?), they’re not going to trust that you have properly listened to all their details and the work they need completed.
From the start, they are sceptical of you. And trust us when we say that they will remain sceptical throughout the whole process no matter what you do!
2. It’s The Little Things That Count
This point branches off our first… In your act of listening to the customer, take note of personal details they let slip.
For example, if you are arranging a time to inspect the issue at your customer’s house and they say, “sorry I can’t do Wednesday, it’s my birthday.”
Instead of brushing it off, note it down in your job system (so you remember for next year), and turn up to the job with a small cupcake or token that shows you listened.
Or, if you mainly deal with real-estate agents or strata companies, pop in every now and then (not just on the holidays) with a packet of Tim Tams or a box of chocolates.
It’s the little things that makes customers feel valued!
3. Create A Culture Of Customer Service
Creating this culture relies on the training and processes your employees undergo. There is however, two sides to this…
On one hand, you want your employees to be enthusiastic and committed to customer service to help you make your customers feel valued.
On the other, if a customer does complain, your employees are first in the firing line.
Your instant reaction to this may be to blame your employee, somewhere down the line, they have failed in providing the best customer service possible. BUT doing this actually puts the power back into your customer’s hands.
By doing this, you are showing that you value customers more than your employees and potentially causing them to feel deflated and lose trust in your loyalty to them.
Long story short… Ensure your employees understand the important of GREAT customer service, but don’t let that one customer complaint (versus many happy ones) ruin your relationship with your employees.
So the question still stands… is the customer always right? Or do they just FEEL they’re right?
Implementing these things in your customer service processes will enforce the feeling of being ‘valued’ by you and your business in your customers.
The more positive emotions they feel towards your business, the less likely they are to take to complain publicly before coming to you first, and the more power to you!
Interested in learning more about customer service in your trade business? Come check out ‘The Next Level Tradie’ where we will be discussing ‘The Marketing Maximiser’, our 3-step marketing tool to help you attract customers, and deliver a great service in order to retain them. CLICK HERE to grab your FREE ticket to our Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth or Adelaide event in August.