Are you creating unnecessary anxiety for your customers?
People want to do business with people they feel comfortable with. But sometimes a business can create little barriers and uncomfortable situations for their customers that can erode the trust and goodwill that a business works so had to build. Businesses can sometimes unintentionally create confusion, frustration….and even anger in their customers without realizing it…..until it's too late.
In business, it's the little things, added together, that create a great experience for your customers. Below are three areas that you can examine in your business to see if you are doing things that are making your customers uneasy.
Whether it's on your website or in person, people like to see the pricing up front, written plainly in an easy to read format. Nothing sends off the internal alarms in people more than when they see the words “call for a free quote!”. Guess what?, most people aren't going to call, even if they are interested. Why? They're afraid of getting an outrageous price quoted to them that's beyond their budget and then have to be in the uncomfortable situation of backing out…..usually after they have given you all of their personal information.
Let people see your pricing up front, if your in an industry where you can't, offer sample price ranges for people to see so they know right away if it's something they can afford. Usually if someone has to call for a quote there's usually already an underlying anxiety forming between you and the customer. Start things off on the right foot and show your pricing up front and if you can't, explain why.
If a customer contacts you with a concern, how long does it take you to respond? What if you're not available……do your employees tell the customer they have to wait until you, the business owner gets back to them?
The longer you leave your customers waiting for a response, especially for a concern they are having, the more time there is for the customer to build unnecessary anxiety and worry over the possible outcome. You've done this before……you call a company with a concern, and you're told someone will call you back to address the issue. Then you wait……and wait…..and wait, mentally going through the upcoming confrontation until you are annoyed, tense and aggravated……and you haven't even spoken to anyone yet!
Don't let your customers go through this kind of strife. Even if you can't actually address the issue for a few days, give a polite phone call acknowledging the concern and assure them that you're going to everything you can to rectify the situation.
This is where alot of businesses lose customers.
Being inconsistent in how you treat your customers and the experience you deliver to them can make them feel uneasy and wary of your business….they may be uneasy and not even know why. On the Main Street in my town is a butcher shop, they have great stuff….much better than what you would find in a super market. When we first moved to the town, I was excited to try it out, now I only go when it's convenient for me. Here's why.
One my first visit there with my children, the owner came over when we walked through the door, introduced himself, and asked for everyone's names. We chatted for about 5 minutes and he gave all of my kids a treat from the treat jar he had hidden behind the counter. It was great, the food was good, the people were nice and the kids got a treat. Great!
On our second visit about a week later, the shop owner greeted us with a grin and a “hi”, a far cry from the special treatment we got just a week before, but still pleasant. He wasn't in the mood for chatting and wanted to hurry up and get our order filled so he could be on with his day. As we were getting ready to leave (I didn't want to ask), his assistant offered the kids a treat, they were happy about that.
On our third visit about a week later, the shop owner said hi to me, but ignored my 3 children who were standing right next to me. He filled my order but never offered the kids a treat. As we walked out the door, my kids confusingly asked me why didn't they get a treat…..I told them “I don't know why”. I really didn't.
Since then, each and everytime I go to this business, the experience changes. Some days it's very pleasant, other days I'm almost ignored.
Now I rarely go to this butcher shop, the food is really good, I just don't like the experience I have when I go there. Why don't I like it? Because it's unpredictable. I never know what I'm going to get, and for such an intimate setting (a very small store), it's uncomfortable to be a customer there. The expectations are always changing, according to the mood and whims of the owner. The experience centers around the business owner, not the customer. That's not a way to do business.
Create a pleasant and predictable experience for your customers and they will always feel comfortable doing business with you.
What are your experiences?
What experiences have you had when dealing with businesses in your area? Share them in the comments below!