September 30, 2010

Don't You Know Who I Am?

I was checking my Twitter feed the other day and noticed a tweet from an associate of mine. In his tweet he commented, okay ranted, about the bad reception and service he received from a local establishment he had been frequenting for years. His issue wasn’t just that he received bad customer service. It was also that they didn’t recognize him as a long time customer. He felt that they should have known he was a regular and treated him accordingly. He wanted some recognition of his loyalty to the business. He ended up so put off that his tweet ended with him thinking of finding a new company to give his money and time.

In reviewing his experience, I thought about my own. I remembered how great I felt when I entered businesses where they recognized me right away, said hello by name, knew my order history, and treated me like royalty. I also remembered other times where I walked into places and no one greeted me and when I finally got their attention, they acted as if I was interrupting their day.

This led to thinking about my own business and my team. How well did we treat our customers, especially our most loyal ones? Were we able to distinguish between the people who might buy something versus our faithful customers who came in repeatedly and spent money consistently?

In order to determine our level of customer awareness, I put together a list of questions. The answers should guide us to creating the right type of atmosphere that enables us to deliver an excellent customer experience. You might find these questions helpful for your business too.

First, I asked some general questions to establish the right baseline.

  1. Do my people know what our strategic goals are?
  2. Do they understand how providing excellent customer service helps us reach our goals?
  3. Do they know what we mean by excellent customer service?
  4. Do they know what role they play in helping us reach our goals and deliver excellent customer service?
  5. Do they understand that we invest money, time, and energy in order to build long term customer loyalty?
  6. Do they know that it is easier to keep a customer long term than it is to find and establish a new one?

Then I put together some additional questions specifically around customers.

  1. Do my people know who our top customers are?
  2. Do they know why they are our top customers? (i.e. what they buy, how often, how much they spend)
  3. Do they know the names of our top customers?
  4. Do they know what our top customers do? (i.e. what their business is, something else about their lives)
  5. Do they understand what products and services we offer that typically meet the needs of our top customers?
  6. Do they know how to provide quality service when working with our top customers?
  7. Do they know how to treat our top customers like royalty?

Answering these questions has helped us make sure we are paying attention to our top customers and gaining their continued loyalty. As we looked at each answer, we put a plan in place or adjusted existing plans to make sure that each answer was YES.

Where is your business? Are your customers tweeting about you? Do you know what they are saying?

No comments: