Customer service and client satisfaction are crucial for all businesses and yours is no exception. And one bad client experience can undo thousands of dollars of marketing and built up rapport.
A while back, my husband Mike and I went out for a rare “date night.” We decided to treat ourselves to one of the fanciest restaurants in Chicago.
This place boasts fine dining, great ambiance, live jazz music, and “artfully prepared cuisine.”
We arrived on time and were shown to our table. And that’s where it all went south. As 10 minutes turned to 20 and no one had even so much as brought us water, I finally got up to flag down a server.
Apparently there was a mix up as to whose table it was, but now it was all straightened out. We ordered drinks, which showed up rather quickly. Things were starting to look up.
Our server asked if we were ready to order, but we asked for a little more time. That was obviously a big mistake. She left our table, never to return. (Cue the song Haley’s Waitress by Fountains of Wayne…)
After what seemed like an eternity, a different server comes by and asks “what meals are you waiting on?” We’ve been in the restaurant over an hour by now and we hadn’t even ordered!
Sad to say, things went from bad to worse. We finally ordered and they delivered Mike’s food 15 minutes before mine and then my order was wrong. After another wait, my second meal arrives and guess what? Wrong again! By then I’ve lost my appetite.
The final excuse given by the manager was that they were “short staffed” that night. But whether they were just having a bad night or not doesn’t really matter, we haven’t been back since.
The point is, crappy service sticks. It takes a long time to build a reputation and very little to ruin it.
In a service-oriented business, your service must be impeccable. You have to deliver on your promises and keep your commitments.
I think where people can get tripped up here is that they actually give mediocre care to current clients, thinking “They’re already a client, they’re already fans, they’ll cut us a little slack if things are a bit disorganized” and instead they spend all of their customer care focus on attending to potentially NEW clients – to hopefully entice them to buy.
This is a HUGE mistake. You must treat your paying clients like family – you must attend impeccably to their every need. What kind of an experience with your brand do you want them to have?
It’s 11 times more likely that a client who has already purchased from you will purchase something again as it is that a “brand new” client will purchase from you for the first time!
If you offer a money back guarantee on your program, stick to it. If you commit to replying to client emails within a certain time period, do it. Under-promise and over-deliver.
Author Larry Winget says it very simply: “Do what you said you were going to do, when you said you were going to do it, the way you said you were going to do it.”
That’s really what it all boils down to.