Would you get a 5 star rating?

How things have changed when it comes to customers reporting on whether they have received good or bad service. Back in the day, if you were unsatisfied with something you had purchased, or the person you had purchased from, you might moan about it to your immediate family or friends. If you felt really aggrieved, you might write a letter to the offending company’s head office and be grateful if you got a ‘thanks for bringing this to our attention’ response.

Not so today. Anybody, anywhere at any time is free to vent their wrath or incredulity to an audience of potentially millions, literally at the touch of a button. You can have a rant on the usual social media channels, or give a rating of your experiences on dedicated websites like nocowboys.co.nz or tripadvisor.co.nz. Even if you’re not offering your ten cents worth on something or someone, you’ll be asked to. How many of us have been asked for ‘feedback’ on our interactions with a company via an online survey or questionnaire?

It’s not all bad

What’s my point? Well a couple really. One, if you can spare the time to write a bad review, you can make time to write a positive one. I say that because while many of us are quick to moan, most of us don’t rush to say thank you or publicly praise companies when they have provided us with exceptional service. Our tendency is to want to share bad news rather than good. A case in point was my recent experience with a local garage. I have been meaning to write a good review about them somewhere. I remember saying to myself at the time, that their service had been excellent and I really should let other people know. Needless to say, I hadn’t gotten around to doing this.

The garage in question is very near to where I live. It was formally an auto electrician’s premises and it has undergone something of a transformation of late, with a new coat of paint, signage and owner. When I walked into the reception it was a proper area to welcome customers – a carpeted floor, magazines on a table, a posh coffee maker, and box of toys to keep the kids entertained. My last experience at a local garage involved a lot of grease, a cold office, and a mechanic who looked like he was on P. While he was nice enough, I walked away wondering if he was going to flog my car or whether he had the necessary skills to fix the problem.

I was concerned that the lush coffee and carpet costs were sure to be passed onto me, and that I would be paying a premium price for pulling into this workshop. Thankfully, I didn’t need to be. I left the smiling, clean-uniformed mechanic with my keys, feeling that my car was in excellent hands, and thought how good it would be if other mechanics cottoned on to the fact that they could attract more business if they simply clean up their act.

Before commencing any work on my vehicle, they called with a rundown of what was required and how much this would cost. In the meantime, they had emailed me a full quote. They got on with the repairs and called me when they had finished. I arrived to find my car being hand-washed by a nice young man in the front yard. I paid the bill, got a detailed print out of all the work with the receipt, along with a small packet of sweets. A week later, I was back at the garage as my tail light was out. I explained I’d been in before and the chap changed the bulb free of charge.

How happy are your customers?

If you’re reading this, the chances are that your business involves customer service. What do you think your customers say about you? Perhaps it’s time to ask yourself a few pertinent questions:

  • How are you keeping your customers happy?

  • Where can they go to say or write good things about you?

  • What else could you offer that will encourage them to spread the good word about you?

  • If they do have a bad experience with your company, how can you turn this around?

  • What makes you a happy customer? How can you improve your customers’ experience?

If you’d like a hand with making sure your customers are happy and want to keep coming back, we can help. Call the Cavalry on 09 379 2880.

In the meantime, here’s a shout out to Fredco, your customer service is great, and your coffee’s not too bad either! 

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