Most business owners know that customers will walk—take their business elsewhere if they're not treated as they'd like to be. But how does a business owner find out what the customer really likes or dislikes?
Well, as the Telephone Doctor, your customers have told us what they won't tell you. Here are 10 things only your best friend will tell you. (By the way, that would be the Telephone Doctor.)
Dear Telephone Doctor,
I'm not a person to be confrontational and cause a scene. However, there are several things that bother me when I call or walk into an establishment. If you pass this on to management, it couldn't hurt and probably would help. Thank you.
- Nobody greeted me when I walked into your store. No one said, “Hello,” no one asked if they could help me, and no one said goodbye when I walked out. Well, at least I wasn't any trouble.
- Your sales staff looked tired. Yeah, they did. Otherwise why wouldn't they greet me with a big smile and some enthusiasm? It didn't look like they even wanted me in the place.
- I bought a lot of stuff. I couldn't believe no one said, “Thank you.” No one told me to enjoy my purchase. I did get a lukewarm, “Have a nice day.” But it was said so routinely that it didn't mean anything to me.
- When I phoned for some information, my call was treated as an annoyance. I sensed very little desire to be of any real help. Know what I did then? I called a few more places until I found someone who sounded as though they wanted my order.
- Whoever answered your phone never identified themselves. I happen to like to know who I'm talking with. When I don't, it hurts any trust I might give your company.
- During the phone call, the voice of whoever answered sounded aggressive and challenging. I didn't feel very welcomed.
- When I walked in, all your employees were talking and laughing amongst themselves and ignored me until I asked a question.
- There was no management around. Remember the old saying, "When the boss is away, the mice will play." Guess what? They do!
- When I told your staff about my problem, which was important to me, no one sympathized with me. It was “business as usual” for them.
- Everyone looked angry. No one was smiling. Remember, sometimes it's the things you don't do that make me want to go elsewhere.
Thanks for listening. We all know these are basic common sense topics, but we also know that basic common sense isn't too common.
Nancy Friedman is president of Telephone Doctor, a customer service training company in St. Louis, MO. She is a featured speaker at association and corporate meetings. To receive her free monthly email article on customer service and a free subscription to the Telephone Doctor Newsletter, The Friendly Voice, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 314-291-1012.