31 October 2014 – Andrew Cook
Every business should have a customer care strategy. Surprisingly, most of the businesses we encounter don’t. When problems or complaints arise, as they inevitably do, a customer care strategy can make all the difference.
It doesn’t matter what type of business you run – whether it’s laying lawns or offering business analytics – amazing customer service is what distinguishes one company from the rest. A customer care strategy is the first step to enabling service levels that wow your customers.
That’s not to say a customer care strategy will foresee or prevent problems altogether, but it will determine how such problems are dealt with. Take my experience with Mr Lawn…
A few weeks ago, I had a new lawn installed at our home. Unfortunately, Mr Lawn had used a sub-contractor to assist them during a period of high demand. The grass was terrible. Weeds quickly appeared and, as the lawn sods settled, it became apparent that the ground had not been levelled properly. Before I could complain, Mr Lawn sent me an email to follow up of how the grass was doing.
Of course, I let them know I wasn’t delighted at the quality and explained the problems that we had noticed. In no time at all, I received a response from one of the directors promising that she would discuss the situation with her partners and the sub-contractors and come back to me with an answer.
Within 24 hours, I received an email with a solution and a profuse apology. Mr Lawn would replace the grass at their expense. I was blown away!
This is the type of ownership that grows businesses and creates loyalty. It really is an example of AMAZING customer service and turning a terrible situation into a “customer for life”.
When it comes to service, there’s no way you can foresee and prevent every possible problem, but you can be prepared to deal with issues promptly and professionally. Of course, businesses differ in their service offerings, the size of their customer base and how they communicate with their customers, so a one-size-fits-all customer care strategy is not going to work.
Mr Lawn clearly has a great customer care strategy in place. The proof is in the after-sales service. A call or an email to follow up once the transaction is closed shows customers that the business cares and is vested in looking after you. Solutions aren’t always at hand, but the speed at which Mr Lawn sought to solve the problem was equally impressive.
A customer care strategy needs to have everyone on board – not only the directors, but also your employees at every level and your sub-contractors (who, as Mr Lawn points out, represents your brand and can do a lot of damage if they don’t aspire to the same standards you do).
Without buy-in, your customer care strategy will look great on paper, but it won’t reflect in the service your customers receive. And don’t think it’s only about trouble-shooting! Design your customer care strategy as a blueprint for the very first moment of offering your services or selling your product right through to your after-sales service.
If you’d like to discuss your customer care strategy, please contact us.