If you work in a business that has contact with the public, then you are in the customer service industry. Almost all businesses are, so customer service is unavoidable, good or bad. Good customer service leads to good customer satisfaction. If the customer is happy, he or she will probably say nice things about the business. Satisfied customers are also more likely to be brand loyal. But we all know what happens when a customer is unhappy. The unhappy experience becomes water cooler gossip and the company often gets blasted on social media. Bad reviews can hurt revenue, customer retention, and even keep potential customers away.
We all want good customer service that leads to customer satisfaction, but how is that achieved? How can businesses compete in such a busy marketplace? There are probably seminars on just this topic, but let’s keep it simple for today. Practice the golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated. Chances are good they are looking for recognition and respect. Most customers just want to feel like their needs are recognized and are being addressed. Also remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression with a customer. If you own storage units, for instance, even the appearance of the parking lot can be off-putting. So, keep it clean and inviting. Consider this: the first point of contact is your first impression.
Remember the rules you learned in kindergarten? Those apply here as well. Be kind. Listen. Do your best work. Customers know when something is being done halfway or employees are spread too thin to do a good job. Just some simple organizational strategies can go along way with improving customer satisfaction. To go beyond the basics, personalize your customer experience. Maybe you can offer them something specifically to meet their individual needs like a climate-controlled storage unit at a reduced price. Everyone likes to feel special, so this is a simple way to achieve that perhaps with your best customers. Then, they will compliment your service to others and potentially bring in new business.
Another method to improve customer satisfaction is to promptly address negative reviews. It’s not good to hide these under the rug, and more than likely they are unavoidable, so it’s best to address them quickly by offering a potential solution to the customer’s problem and apologize. If your self-storage business gets a bad online review, address it publicly and politely. Just like people want to be treated nicely on the front end of customer experience, they expect respect and recognition when something goes wrong. Use these experiences to your advantage by minimizing the negative impact. Ultimately, you can’t avoid dealing with customer satisfaction, so it pays (literally!) to have a plan in place to address these issues before they arise. But it’s never too late to put an action plan in place to improve customer satisfaction, which will likely improve customer retention and revenues.