Excellent customer service can only be achieved when we truly understand what clients want, need and expect and then go out of our way to provide it.
How well do you communicate with your clients? If your answer is that you keep their
details on your database and send offers and maybe a Christmas card, you are part of the
Have you ever considered asking them what they think of you and your company? Most business owners would answer, “NO”, to that one and it’s usually because they are afraid. On the one hand we are usually pretty certain that we are providing good products and services and yet we can still be full of self doubt. There are enough knock backs in business to bruise our egos so why invite the possibility of more?
Let’s look at the benefits in doing this:
The feedback you receive will fall into three categories; things you need to STOP doing, START doing and CONTINUE doing.
To get the feedback you need to STOP being afraid, START asking and CONTINUE to ask at relevant times. How you do it is up to you. Face to face, phone call, email, website, social media: it depends how many customers you have and which method you think would be most acceptable. If you have got your marketing right you will have a good understanding of your target market. They are your customers; put yourself in their shoes. If in doubt approach a couple of customers you know to be friendly and try different contact methods to see which one works best. As the saying goes, “feel the fear and do it anyway!”
The following is offered as a starting point – make it yours. Too formal? Make it friendlier. Use the language your customers will respond to best.
"BEST Support really values you as a client. We/I want you to be more than happy with the service we/I have provided and ensure that we/I continue to improve our/my offering. We would like to know from you what we/I should STOP doing, what we/I should START doing and what we/I should CONTINUE doing?”
Be prepared for some surprises. If it’s not positive then do something about it and then go back to that customer, thank them for their feedback and tell them what you have done as a result. If it is positive then ask if you can use the comments as testimonials. Don’t expect your customer to offer a testimonial so be prepared to ask for one and then use it.
Requesting feedback should be a regular occurrence, preferably immediately following a service and be short and sweet - no lengthy questionnaires that go on and on. The questions should be entirely relevant and, if possible ,personal i.e. not a mail shot. We must be prepared to change as a consequence of feedback and this can be a challenge for some. If you are not prepared to act on feedback then don’t bother asking for it.
Go on, give it a go. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
By Jean McNeil, Business Support Specialist - BEST Support Team Leader