We all know that the little things matter to your customers. Your staff can go above and beyond, your store might be pristine, your website informative and easy to negotiate; but one little thing can completely negate a positive experience.
Consider for a moment these statistics:
- 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience. 
- It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.
- 91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with you again.
- Nearly 9 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they’d pay more to ensure a superior customer experience.
Here’s the big question: are you always doing what’s in your customer’s’ best interest?
Are you certain?
Remember that the customer has a completely different perspective than the business owners or staff. If a goal of your business is to give consistent and excellent customer service, then you need to step into the customer’s shoes. Here’s an example:
My husband and I recently ventured to a nearby town for dinner with no particular restaurant in mind. We decided on a place based on the following:
- Location and available parking (it was a beautiful evening and the downtown area was busy);
- The menu was placed outside and was appealing;
- The restaurant was clean and inviting.
Even though the restaurant was full, we were immediately greeted and offered a spot at the bar. Our bartender was very attentive, personable and able to serve us drinks immediately. The restaurant had a great vibe and a good atmosphere; we were pleased with our choice.
However, waiting for our dinner to arrive, the staff continually picked up and then replaced a table cleaner bottle and cloth directly in front of our spot at the bar. We understood that they were busy, but was this the only place to keep the table cleaning accessories? Then a container of silverware was plunked down in front of us, about a foot away from our meal.
While it wasn’t a big deal, it completely changed our experience. From the staff’s perspective, it was likely handy to keep these items at the end of the bar, but for us it was intrusive and very unappealing. What was easy and best for the wait staff was not what was best for us, the customer. We didn’t complain or leave a bad review, but this one little thing will probably keep us from returning to or recommending this restaurant.
Set aside some time this week to review your business from the customer’s perspective. You may find gaps in service and areas for improvement. Try to get beyond barriers such as “we’ve always done it this way”, or “it’s easier this way”, and keep the focus on the customer’s perspective.