If you ask any small business person if they give good customer service, you will get between 85 and 90% of them claiming that they give great service, in fact, they’ll tell you they give the best service of all their competition in the industry. Well, I’m here to tell you that’s mostly baloney. Let me tell you why, and let me explain how I came to this reality and FACT. I say fact because this is not perspective based thinking, it is what I know to be true from observations, experience, and my knowledge of the market place.
You see, before retirement I ran a franchise company and when we went into a new market we would survey the customers of our competitions locations. We would ask customers if they thought customer service was good in the establishment they just walked out of. They didn’t know us from Adam, they didn’t know if we were related to the business owner, if we were competition, or if we were just customers who wanted to know if the customer service was good there before we purchased anything.
What we found out is most customers were not happy with the businesses they shopped at, but rather they shopped at those businesses because there was no competition, or the competition was worse, thus, they had chosen the lesser of two evils, kind of like how we vote for politicians in America. This is a warning to all business owners. It doesn’t matter what you think of your customer service, it matters what you are customer thinks of your customer service. And the reality is you need to bridge that gap.
The only way to do this is to survey your customers, perhaps using a third-party. Find out what they like and dislike, or get suggestions from your customers on how you can improve customer service. Now, it may burst your bubble to find out what your customers really think, but it will make you a better business person, that I guarantee. Please consider all this.