Do your customers actually like you?

It amazes me that some businesses are really not that bothered about their customers, even though without them, there would be no business. So many concentrate on other things, like marketing, product development, pricing, and PR but they don’t spend time working out if their customers actually like them. You would think that customer perceptions, viewpoints and experiences would be absolutely central everyday themes. After all, it takes an awful lot of effort to gain a new customer so surely, once gained, they should be listened to and nurtured.

In everyday life, this manifests itself as poor service in a load of different ways. Not being given the key points of the small print when you buy a contract for something like a phone. Being transferred on a call and having to repeat your details and your enquiry more than once. Not calling you back when they say they will. All examples of a lack of sincere care. The customer is always right seeming to have been replaced with the customer is a bother stopping me getting on with my job.

There’s a lot of poor service about and it’s very frustrating. We’ve all experienced it and we know how maddening it is. The UK Customer Service Index recorded its highest ever level of dissatisfaction earlier this year, 20-30%. For those businesses who do put their customers front and centre, this provides a massive opportunity to really wow with great service, and to stand out from their competitors. First, as James Dodkins puts so beautifully, the easiest way to turn your customers into superfans is to turn your employees into rockstars. You have to make sure your staff are on side. Second put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Do some research, do some mystery shopping so you can work out what you are already doing well and where are the opportunities for improvement.

If your customers don’t like you, they will tell others, they will look around to see what else is available, and they will leave you.