February 10, 2013
How Local Businesses are making Customer Service or Marketing Errors and driving their customers to their competitors.
A story of bad practice and lost opportunities
Earlier today I went to my local garden centre. It was pouring with rain, the temperature was 3C but I needed a new spade to do a job that day. Having to face working in the rain later wasn’t making me happy and when I got to the garden centre all the parking spaces near the doors were flooded.
After a dash through the pouring rain I eventually got in to the centre, found a spade and made it to the check out. The lady on the check out couldn’t read the bar code and, wet and cold, I was left waiting while she called for help.
Sadly this isn’t the first time I’ve had problems at the checkout here. The business has spent several hundred thousand on new buildings to house other retailers, have installed close circuit cameras and carried out other work … but basic things like sorting out the puddles and bar code scanners, that affect every customer has been neglected.
The thing is, because of the problems, I often drive past this garden centre and go to another one a few miles further on .. but today I thought I’d try to save some time. I wish I hadn’t bothered!
Do All Businesses Drive Customers Away?
Then I got to think about my own business. Perhaps I’m as bad. OK I don’t have a customer car park or a bar code scanner but I do have customers and perhaps I don’t serve them as they would wish.
So as soon as I got home I abandoned the digging idea (it was only one plant that needed removing and it is really best done in drier weather). I sat down and thought about my businesses “customer touch points”.
These are the places where customers touch you .. via your adverts, website, phone, email, office/retail space. And I tried to take a customer perspective. It isn’t easy and I’ll be getting some customers to comment later, but it is good practice to check these things from time to time.
What Would Your Customers and Prospects Say About Your Business
If you were to ask your customers about the “puddles and bar code scanners” in your business what would they say?
Where are you upsetting and losing customers?
What can you do better?
How can you stop losing customers and their business?
It might not just be existing customers that are being upset. It might be that the SEO on your website is poor and you aren’t even getting the website visitors. Last week I had a call about this and share my answer at SEO: What Webdesigners Forget to Tell You … Then Want to Charge You to Remedy Later.