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Posts Tagged ‘customers’

agent-18762_640At its heart, there are certain unavoidable truths about any business or organisation. First, it is only ‘working’ if it keeps the interests of customers a priority. And second, there is always room for improvement. Even if (or perhaps especially if) you are not wondering how you could improve your customer service, there is a strong likelihood that you can, and your whole operation will run better as a result.

Take this as a reminder that without your customers, your organisation would dwindle and eventually close its doors. The upside is, each positive interaction with a customer not only makes it easy for them to return, but makes it a pleasure for them to tell their friends about you and the wonderful work you do. So, it is really important that you and your staff always keep personal frustrations when at work in a professional setting. Support customers with a smile, no matter what. Putting their interests first, and letting them know how important they are will help ensure they continue to work with you.

Online customers deserve quality service also, and there are a few ways to make sure their experiences with your organisation are as good, if not better, than if they dealt in person. A lot of customer queries and complaints can be dealt with efficiently via a comprehensive FAQ page online. Remember, however, that just because someone can navigate to a webpage does not mean they understand all technical or industrial jargon. Keep the content clear and simple, to avoid unnecessary follow up questions. Another thing to consider when delivering customer service online is that customers will generally expect fast responses. If you are using social media, the closer to instant replies, the better.

Making each customer feel important and heard, will win their loyalty. There is no better promotion for any organisation than a personal recommendation from a satisfied customer.

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Over the weekend we had an experience as a customer which indicated that Dominos pizza franchise systems doesn’t support it’s business or staff – nor are they a good experience for the customer. We ordered the pizza for the children and sitter over the internet to arrive when we were out. During the internet order process the credit card details (including the three digit number) were taken. At the end of the order process we were advised to make the card available for validation upon delivery. With this advice we left the card (and $50 as a back up in case anything went wrong) when we went out.

The driver arrived with the pizza and when the card holder was not available he suggested that our 15yo sitter forge the signature. Perhaps a situation where the driver was not trained sufficiently for the task? The upshot was that the cash was used and now we have to ring a 1800 number today to have the credit card transaction reversed ie. not done by the franchise. The driver rang to apologise for his actions. The franchise owner justified his position, made no attempt to compensate us for the inconvenience except to offer to sack the driver (hardly a compensation!).

This raised several issues with their systems. Firstly, why is it that Dominos requires a signature after the credit card has been used over the net to purchase when we can use our card for all manner of purchases on the net without signing? Secondly, if we are required to sign, the website is not clear about it. Thirdly, the driver obviously didn’t understand the steps to take in the situation. Fourthly, the franchise owner had not put a process in place to remedy the situation “which happens once a night” ie. people thinking they’ve paid for the pizza over the net.

Do your systems support your business? Do you have recognised steps in place to salvage a bad situation (notwithstanding that some customers cannot be satisfied)? Are your staff well trained?

adminbandit Here’s to volunteer treasurers..

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This morning I took time out from business to serve in a canteen as a fund raiser. It was interesting to note the different approaches of the different boys/young men! (it was a rugby tournament). Some had manners, some didn’t, some knew what they wanted and weren’t willing to accept a variation, some were willing to compromise, some took a long time to decide, some, even after scannning the price list asked for things not on offer, some clearly had more money that others.

It struck me that whatever business we are in our customers come in all shapes and sizes with different expectations, needs and wants and amounts of money and ways of relating.

Have you thought about your customers needs, wants, motivations, personalities and where they spend their money, how they like to relate?

adminbandit Here’s to volunteer treasurers..  

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