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Be the Customer: See Yourself as Your Customers Do
What do your customers experience when they interact with your business? As a mystery shopper, I help businesses see themselves through the eyes of their customers by posing as a typical customer and evaluating their service, quality and cleanliness. Was it easy to find what I needed? Were the employees polite and helpful? Was everything neat and clean? Was I thanked for my business? What happened when I made a return?
Whether your business is an international retailer or a small one-person shop, what you don't know about your customers' perceptions of your quality and service can hurt you. Put yourself in your customers' shoes and test your business. Depending on the characteristics of your business, you may conduct the evaluation of your business yourself, enlist the help of a few friends, or hire a mystery shopping company to implement a formal, ongoing program. You might be surprised (pleasantly or not) by what you learn.
Call your office. How long does it take to get an answer? Is there a professional greeting? What do you hear when you are put on hold? Go through the voice menus. Are any of them dead ends? How long does it take to get to a human, or at least a place where you can leave a message?
Call your order line and place an order. How long does it take to get the item? Was it packaged well and did it arrive safely? What else was in the package (e.g., a catalog, thank you note, extra gift)? Inquire about returning an item. Is the service you receive as good as that you got when you ordered? Does the customer service person try to save the sale by offering alternatives to meet your needs?
Walk through your retail location. Is merchandise attractively presented? Is everything clearly priced? Are the aisles clear so you can walk comfortably? Can a shopping cart fit? Is the rest room clean and stocked with supplies?
Go to your web site and place an order. Does your site load quickly? Is it easy to find specific products? Does the order form work? What communication does a customer receive when they place an order (e.g., an email confirmation)? Submit a question via email and see what response you receive. Are the links on your web site (internal and external) working? You also want to know if proper sales techniques are being followed. Although a customer will never complain because your staff didn't attempt to upsell them, your bottom line can suffer when this important step is missed. Plus, helping customers get everything they need in one stop can increase their satisfaction and loyalty. Are sales people recommending additional products and telling customers about optional services, such as a maintenance agreement? If they are not, your business is losing revenue and profit.
When you see yourself as your customers do, you can identify problems that may be costing you sales. Make it easy to do business with you and watch your profits increase!
Copyright Cathy Stucker. As the Idea Lady, Cathy Stucker helps entrepreneurs and professionals attract customers and make themselves famous. Get free marketing tips at http://www.IdeaLady.com/. To learn about mystery shopping, see http://www.IdeaLady.com/shopping.htm.
Customer Service - Google News
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The Call Center world is an intense pressure-driven environment continually being shaped by pressure to ensure steady profitability and a secure competitive advantage.Accountability and a basic fundamental understanding of Performance Management serve as two of the most power tools a Call Center manager has at his/her disposal.
Sales Marketing: 10 High Impact Ways To Improve Your Customer Service
If you want to last a long time in business and succeed, you must learn how to make your customers happy.You have to know who are your customers, what they want and keep in touch with them and their needs.
Passing the After-Sales Test
Some time ago a major UK food retailer decided to branch out into non-foods. Well, they all do it now, but in those days it was unheard of.
Create Win-Win Deals With Your Competitors
In the competitive world of the 20th century, we generally viewed competitors as the enemy. And a competitor was anyone who sold to the same target audience as us - even if they sold a different item.
Who Says the Customer is Always Right?
We all know the old adage, "The Customer is Always Right." If you are an online business owner or offline for that matter, you are on both sides of the subject almost everyday.
CRM - Its Relevance
In today's demanding economy, the first line of any business during economic uncertainty is to get closer to the customer. Customers often want information along with a quote or invoice on the spot.
When the Customer Demands: Give a Discount or Lose the Order
Periodically every sales person encounters the customer who refuses to buy unless they receive a discount. Sometimes this is driven by the organization's culture or the buyer wanting to look good to their boss and sometimes it is simply the mindset of the individual buyer them self.
Loyalty Programs May Keep Customers Coming Back - But First You've Got to Earn their Trust
Remember trading stamps? If you're over 40, chances are you will. Every time you shopped at a participating grocery store or gas station they gave you stamps to paste into a book.
Raising The Bar For Online Magazine Subscription Services And Customer Service
After years of flying below the radar in the magazine subscription service arena online, MagMall.com is gaining traction real fast.
Do You Want More Profits? - Follow The Golden Rules Of Providing Good Customer Service
Last night I was at my computer and a Skype chat window opened up with a link in it from a stranger. I clicked the link and was taken to one of those "You would have to be crazy to pass up this business opportunity" sites.
10 Customer Service Quality Statements to Measure up Against
It might sound quick and simple, to say how well your business does in satisfying it's customers. Hearing such as:-"We're increasing our turnover by 14% year to date""Our customer complaints are now less than 4% or our transactions".
Restaurant Scheduling for Success
- Excerpt from Richard Saporito's latest e-book "How to Improve Dining Room Service"This Tip will Help Maintain the Staff Schedule Keeping the Dining Room Service Staff Tight and Content which is Essential for Pleasing Paying Guests.Staff scheduling is closely tied to dining room customer service and crucial for keeping your staff tight, happy and well connected.
We Got It Wrong: Never Under Promise & Over Deliver
You know how it is, you believe something for so long, everyone agrees with you, all the books tell you it's true and then suddenly you have a blinding revelation - we've all been duped! You know like my gorilla mates were? (If you're not sure about my gorilla mates then you really need to read the book - we've got a great offer on at the moment!)And you feel such a chump - how did I ever fall for that - the logic just isn't there - I must have been a fool. Let me explain.
The salesman's job is to be well informed; extremely well informed. For this information is how he earns his bread.
Become a Customer Enthusiasm-Guru!
One thing all successful small business owners have in common is the knowledge that their business is based on enthusiastic customers. Despite their multi-tasking titles of bookkeeper, service provider and sales-manager, their most important title is Customer-Enthusiasm Guru.
Why You Should Always Honour Your Guarantees - Even When The Customer Is In The Wrong
The Reason Why Direct Internet Marketers Have To Work So Hard To Earn Our TrustA bad attitude to customer service can literally destroy your business.So, I thought I'd share my response to what I read on an Internet Marketing Forum recently to illustrate my point.
Putting The Service Back In Customer Service
The future of customer service is here. Technology has made seeking out support faster and easier than ever.
Clients - What They Want from You
A growing number of individuals are finding themselves called to help others and go on to fulfil this call by training to become a practitioner in one of the healing arts.The range of conventional, traditional, holistic, complementary and alternative therapies is extensive with new thoughts on old themes being introduced almost daily.
Listening: The Foundation of Communication
Listening is the #1 communication skill for leadership, selling, customer service, and even romance! The problem is, most of us don't listen very well. We're not trained to listen and we don't even realize that listening is a skill.
How to Easily Increase Your Profits
Do you remember the last time you went into a shop and the person 'serving' raced over to you, greeted you with a lovely smile, heaps of enthusiasm and said, "Welcome to our store, what can I help you with today?" And then listened attentively to what you had to say?Doesn't happen very often does it? In fact, while I was writing this, I couldn't recall when I had experienced it. I'm sure I must have yet it would have been so long ago, I can't remember.
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