As your company grows, you will have to hire employees to work with your customers. This often leads to your customers not having the “ideal” customer experience that you started with when you were the only one who had customer contact.
Early signs of bad customer service can be detected by closely analyzing your accounting records. Pay particular attention to the following:
- A rapid increase in high product returns. This often happens when the product doesn’t solve the customer’s problem in the way your salesperson promised.
- A decrease in the average order size. This is an early indication that your employees have become order takers rather than salespeople focused on discovering the customer’s problems and offering a solution.
- An increase in customer complaints. You do have a way of tracking customer complaints, don’t you? If not, set up a tickler system that all your employees must fill out when a customer has a complaint and review them with your employees. Give every customer a “Let us know how we are doing” card with each product or service delivery.
- Trouble collecting receivables. Maybe they are just unhappy with your product or service. If a normally prompt-paying customer suddenly stops paying on time, it should result in a call from the owner to see if the problem is related to bad customer service. You most likely can still save this customer.
- A constant need to discount in order to reach your sales goals. This can also be a sign that your price is too high in relation to the value the customer feels they received from your product or service.
Of course, you really should not wait for these signs to occur. Every business owner should have a program in place to follow up on sales to find out if their customers are happy with their purchase. This can be accomplished by using surveys or calls to your biggest customers and a sample of your smaller customers after each sale.
Thank you for your continued support and let's make this year our most profitable year ever!