How often have you gone into a retailers and the sales assistants have ignored you, or acknowledged you briefly when you got to the till, only to start up, or continue a conversation with one of their colleagues?
At what point in time, or in any customer service training they’ve been given, was it ever deemed acceptable to treat customers as though they were invisible and not there at all?
This phenomenon is by no means exclusive to face to face customer service scenarios.
After talking to a new contact this week about my business, they told me the story about another invisible customer situation that they’d experienced with a local business.
The business in question hires out meeting and training room space. They had rang to book a room and got verbal confirmation of the booking, but got no subsequent written confirmation, either electronically or by post. This was the first time they’d used the venue and this lack of communication created a high level of anxiety on their part, especially when subsequent emails received no response. They finally rang the venue again to ask for firm confirmation and even this activity produced only a weak response that did’t allay their fears totally.
The booking in question was to be the first in a series of sessions that this business was running, however , this lack of communication has raised doubts in their mind about the reliability of this particular venue to deliver and so it is unlikely that they will profit from an ongoing relationship, all for the sake of the invisible customer syndrome.
How easy would it have been for this venue to send a confirmation email. To have this simple step as part of their booking process and perhaps even better, have an automatic email close to the booking date itself, to reconfirm with the customer and determine if there’s anything else they can help with in addition to the room booking alone .e.g. refreshments, flip chart, video etc?
These activities are easy to do and certainly inexpensive, but make a big difference to customers.
This is where online retailers have an advantage. They have automated their responses and keep their customers updated at every stage of their interaction from order, to dispatch and finally delivery.
Are there any situations that you can recognise in your business where your customer becomes invisible. If you do, then make a change, before your customers become someone elses’.
New Chapter Learning are a Customer Experience and Training Consultancy who want to give your customers a reason to love you.