Every business has some snafus. No matter how hard you try to please your customers, there are just some situations that you can't predict or avoid. When that happens and you've disappointed a customer it's important to handle it the right way. In a previous post we've talked about ways to handle customer complaints. Today we're going to talk about how to go above and beyond by reaching out to customers who may be disgruntled but didn't even complain. We'll also have some tips on how Stockpile robust small business inventory system can help you avoid some of these issues before they occur.
Recently we ordered pizza on one of those nights when everyone else in town was ordering pizza. We knew that it was going to be a busy time so we placed our order early in the afternoon with a scheduled delivery at 5:15 PM so that dinner would arrive before our guests. Unfortunately, 5:15 came and went as did 5:30 and still no pizza. Lucky for us, our guests were also running late so they were just getting out of the car when the pizza arrived at 5:45. Given that it all worked out in the end, I didn't bother to call and complain. I was very pleasantly surprised a few weeks later to receive a postcard in the mail that said, "We can do better. Please enjoy a free pizza on us." The fact that the pizza place was tracking our order and decided to make it right when they realized that they missed our delivery time by half an hour, even though we didn't complain was very impressive.
Surprising your customers in a good way will always pay off in the long run. Delivering on expectations is great but people don't always tell their friends when they just received the service they expected. What they can't stop talking about is that unexpected bonus that they didn't ask for. It makes them happy and it lets them know how much you appreciate their business. Anytime you can make your customers feel valued and respected as individuals it's a good thing. All too often people complain about feeling like a number or just another customer. No one likes to feel invisible or replaceable.
Creating a process to go above and beyond is fairly simple. Start by clearly outlining expectations with your employees. They need to know what constitutes acceptable service to be able to identify the times that they miss the mark. Criteria can be time based such as delivering within a certain amount of time, or it can be tied to the level of service or the quality of the product produced. Having a system in place where projects are checked periodically throughout the process can be a good way to identify potential shortfalls before they become a bigger issue. Keeping your customer informed of the progress can help them manage their expectations as well.
When you notice that something isn't going quite as planned reaching out proactively can be a great way to avoid any disappointment. Offering a price break or other incentive as compensation can eliminate any hard feelings before they even form. Plus, it shows that you care enough to track the progress of their project and reach out in advance.
Remember even little gestures in advance can go a long way. It's always easier to please someone who isn't angry than it is to soothe the ruffled feathers of someone who is frustrated. If you aren't able to be proactive, responding in a timely manner is the next best thing. Don't let too much time pass before you reach out. You want the incident to still be fresh in their mind. The longer you wait, the more time they have to share their bad experience with others. Wait too long and now you've just reminded them of a bad experience that they may have already let go. Neither scenario is going to be a win for your business.
Stockpile Robust Small Business Inventory Solution
Of course, avoiding these situations all together is the best plan. Often inventory issues cause some of these shortcomings. Thankfully, Stockpile can help. If you track your inventory with a robust small business inventory system like Stockpile you'll always know what inventory you have on hand and where to find it. Adding items is quick and easy. Stockpile is fully customizable so you can include the fields that work best for your business in item records. Thanks to areas and locations you can be very specific about where items are kept. Tracking items is easy whether you have one location or dozens. Stockpile robust inventory management solution is also mobile compatible so you can access your data with your mobile device from anywhere. Keeping your finger on your inventory can really help you avoid out of stock situations. Want to see what we can do for your business? Try Stockpile today!