Taking Better Care of Your Customers
By Fernando Camacho
All too often, we’re so focused on getting in new customers and generating leads that we forget about the customers we already have. Once we convert a lead into a customer and they start using our services, we tend to not give them much thought.
We assume that they are having a good experience. We assume that if they had questions, they would ask. We assume that we’re meeting their expectations and delivering a good service. We assume . . .
Assuming in business is a dangerous thing. Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, so it makes sense to spend some time and effort making sure they are not only happy, but overjoyed.
The first step is to analyze the customer experience. You think you know how the customer feels as they go through your sales process and interact with your business, but you won’t really know until you see it from their perspective.
You’ve probably heard of “secret shoppers” in retail. That’s where the business owner hires an impartial person to go into the store as a shopper and rate the experience and service they receive. You need to do the same thing. Find someone that’s not too close to you (a good friend will be biased) who can walk in, ask some questions, sign up and then come in for a day or two of daycare or board their pet overnight.
Then, ask them some questions. How did they feel? Were their questions answered? Did they really know what the process was? Did they feel comfortable leaving their dog?
Have them rate everything from 1-10, and if they give anything a rating under 10, ask them what it would take to make it a 10. This will give you some great insight into what you can improve upon to make your service the very best.
Here are some suggestions to make your customer experience even better:
1. Improve your onboarding.
What’s your process when someone first becomes a paying customer? In addition to just explaining how everything works and handing them some printed documents, I like to create an automated email sequence that explains exactly what goes on behind the scenes, what they can expect and how they can help make the experience positive for their dog.
As soon as someone makes a purchase, they immediately wonder if they made the right choice. Give them an unadvertised bonus right away to make them feel like they already got more value than they expected. It could be a bag of treats or a free day of daycare.
3. Surprise and delight.
Everyone loves surprise gifts. Run regular contests for your customers where they can win stuff (good stuff they want, not swag with your logo on it). Or, look at who your five best customers are and send them something cool. My favorites are a framed portrait of their dog or a stuffed animal of their dog (yes, there are companies that do that).
You’re really only limited by your creativity. The key thing to remember is to make sure you are constantly making your customer’s experience a great one. If you do, then you won’t have to even worry about getting new leads. You’ll have customers who stay with you for years to come and who recommend you to all their friends.
Fernando Camacho (Fern) runs Overdog Digital, a digital marketing agency specializing in working with dog daycare and boarding facilities. He does private business consulting, staff training and helps pet businesses utilize modern resources to expand their customer base and grow their businesses. Fern is also the author of six books and is a speaker at national conferences and private events.
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