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A standard part of the work that we do includes traveling to wherever it is that our clients need us. During one of our recent projects I returned to the same accommodation during the short space of only a few months.
Building an experience
My first visit was fine. The accommodation was pretty standard, everything was clean and in good working order and the staff was exceptionally friendly – hence I had no complaints to make use of them again. The second time around, they pleasantly surprised me by taking the first experience with them to whole new level.
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Although the accommodation was still fairly standard and everything was still clean and in good working order and the staff was still exceptionally friendly, they had clearly identified me as a returning visitor, recalled some of my personal preferences and even had a little note and small gift waiting for me in my room to thank me for being a returning customer.
Obviously I returned for my third visit to them with anticipation. In my mind they had significantly raised the bar and I couldn’t wait to see what they came up with next.
On my third visit, the accommodation was still fairly standard, everything was still clean and in good working order and the staff was still exceptionally friendly… but that was it. There was no welcome back, no indication that they recalled me having been there before and although all of the basics were still in place, their inconsistency had left me feeling disappointed.
Ensuring you have a plan B
How often does this not perhaps happen in your own business as well? Are you even aware of all the clients, orders and people that fall through the cracks? Do you know where things only work when one specific person in your team is there or dealing with the issue? Can you really afford not to have an effective back up plan for when they are not available?
Only once you are aware of all these incidents and potential cracks, can you start to utilise these challenges to become opportunities to improve your business processes and make them fool proof to ensure that whether a client is dealing with you for the first time or the one hundredth time, their expectations will be met, their needs satisfied and they will not leave you feeling disappointed – no matter who is currently fulfilling that specific position.
Related: The bottom line
Every process should be standardised and your employees should be well trained to enable an excellent customer service experience – every time!