Ever heard an employee say, “It was only one customer, what are you so hung up about?”
What if you could keep accurate metrics on the number of customers chased away by your staff?
First, a little story told to me by a friend – then onto customer service metrics!!
My friend was given a gift certificate to a local establishment that provides a Dinner Theatre Mystery Night and 4 Course meal. Unfortunately, due to the rarity of the number of Mystery Theatre nights (approx 1/month) and the high volume of travel required by my friend’s job, he was unable to use the gift certificate within the time frame of the 1 year expiry date.
Since purchased, Alberta law changed on November 1, 2008 stating that all gift certificates and gift cards issued will no longer be allowed to state an expiry date. That law also includes gift cards purchased before November 1, 2008 so long as they did not expire before the Nov.1 date.
They phone to finally book a dinner on one of the available Mystery Nights, but were greeted with a sour Food and Beverage Manager who simply asked the date the gift certificate was issued, then abruptly stated;
“The legislation did not come into effect until after that gift certificate was bought so it’s valid for a year only, sorry, it’s expired. If you would like to purchase two tickets, I will need a credit card number.”
That is it, not only did she misinterpret the legislation, she was rude and curt! My friend would have accepted a courtesy of at least being listened to, or considered he was a customer, especially since the tickets are valued at 75.00 each. A single 150.00 purchase is worth something to the business, no? It is to me when I shop!
My friend says:
She could have offered to extend the certificate, give us a discount to another function or even just said “I’m sorry, the certificate you have has expired; we can’t honour it but would still be happy to have you as a guest for dinner…”
Lets look at the metrics!
2 = Pissed-off customers this week
8 = The number of people they told (say each of those pissed off customers tell 4 people – conservative estimate.)
10 = 2 pissed off customers + 8 good friends. Lets say those 8 share it with 1 person each.
26 = 2 pissed off customers+8 people they told + the additional individuals those 8 shared with.
Multiply that by how many weeks your business is open to the public (typically 52)
1352 = 2 pissed off customers per week chased away from your business x 52 weeks a year.
A similar encounter every week will guarantee 1352 people within their marketing reach WILL NOT do business with that company or organization due to a story of poor customer service told by someone, and people always listen to those they love and trust.
How does a 21st century consumer make a purchase?
- They shop from emotion
- They want a relationship with the business.
- They want to feel good about how hard they work
- They want their money going to an organization that deserves to receive it
- They want a positive experience.
Are consumers really buying your goods or services – NO! They are buying the experience and the relationship. We have all the ‘stuff’ we need, consumers shop and spend because they can and they want to feel good doing it.
If you are not clear with your front line staff as to what that looks like, then I can guarantee you will be suffering –
Let’s take it a little farther – let’s say only 5% of that total number would really have purchased from them based on referrals from satisfied and happy customers.
68 = approximately 5% of 1352 customers.
$5100.00 = per year of lost sales on an average 75.00 purchase. Are you okay tossing that money in the trash?
Now let’s consider that those 68 people may very well have a spouse or friend they would prefer to attend a Mystery Dinner Theatre Night with. WOW, are you as a business willing to toss a potential of $10,200.00 a year down the drain?
So, when an employee says, “It was only 1 person, what are you so hung up about?” That person is NOT suited for frontline service delivery, customer complaints or technical support, (certainly not without training).
Is it worth an investment of 20-50 bucks to gain a loyal customer – you tell me!
Care for your customers and train your staff! Leadership is directly tied to customer service – for every loyal happy customer, you could be making the difference between surviving this economic downturn or closing the shop!
NOTE: I called the organization my friend was talking about – mainly to find out about their gift certificate policy.
- They did say gift certificates no longer expire and there are no other conditions.
- They told me if I wanted to purchase new ones I best do it at next year’s prices, as this year is getting filled up
- When I asked how often they had the theatre, they said once a month, but less this year because there has been a huge slow down (really?)
- They were very curt and not at all interested in listening – only ‘telling’
- This is NOT the first time I have heard poor feedback on this particular organization
Need I name them? No, they are doing enough damage to themselves!