“*Flooring World,” the employee answering the phone said in a bored tone when I called for an appointment I had with the store owner.
This fellow had no enthusiasm in his voice, and his tone suggested that I had interrupted his day. He obviously didn’t realize—or didn’t care about—the negative impression he was making on prospective customers.
Compare that to how the phone was answered by the employee of a long-time coaching client of mine:
“Thank you for calling *Ridgway Flooring and Interiors, home of the iron-clad triple guarantee,” she said in a bright, cheerful voice.“How may I help you?”
Imagine if you were in the market for flooring and you called both of these stores. Which would you choose to do business with?
Customer service is a buzzword that gets thrown around a lot. Ask a floor dealer why a prospect should buy from them instead of their competitor, and you’ll likely hear, “Because we provide really good customer service.” Ask their competitor the same question and you’ll probably get the same answer. Saying you have great customer service isn’t enough. You have to put actionable, concrete customer service strategies in place, and train your team to follow them. This way your customers get a consistently great experience, time after time.
I recommend that you view the implementation of customer service strategies as a profit-center for your business. Let’s analyze some statistics from studies done by American Express to see how they apply to your business.
Consumers will pay 17% more to buy from companies with great customer service reputations.
Over and over again I’ve worked with flooring dealers whose margins were in the 25% – 30% range, and helped them quickly leap to 40% – 50% margins by implementing strategies to “WOW” their customers. This is one of the fastest, most cost-effective ways to rapidly increase your profits.
One-third of consumers say that one instance of poor customer service would cause them to consider switching companies.
Every time you prevent a customer loss to a competitor, it’s money in your pocket. Taking the time to root out poor or mediocre customer service habits in your employees will prevent those losses.
Over half of consumers say that they have made an additional purchase after a company provided a positive customer experience.
It’s very common for dealers to have a customer buy one or two rooms of flooring, only to return later and purchase floors for their entire house, their business, their rentals, etc. If you “WOW” your customers, you can dramatically increase the frequency that this happens.
9 in 10 consumers factor in customer service when deciding whether to purchase from a company.
What is your customer’s first point of contact with a member of your team? It’s when they phone or visit. These are your two most important opportunities to thoroughly “WOW” them with over-the-top, great customer service so they choose to buy from you instead of Home Depot.
Happy consumers will tell 11 people about their great experience with your company; angry consumers will tell 15 people about their negative experience.
Do you want more referrals? Begin “WOW-ing” your customers with phenomenal customer service. You’ll not only get more referrals, but you’ll simultaneously reduce the number of people complaining about your business to their friends and relatives.
Customer service is everything, and everything is customer service. From the way your phones are answered, to how customers are greeted, to how you arrive for the in-home measure, every touchpoint with every customer is an opportunity to “WOW” them, and an opportunity to dramatically increase your profits.
“Customer service should not be a department. It should be the entire company.”
— Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
(*Company names have been changed.)
To Tons Of Customers!
Jim Augustus Armstrong is The “Coach”
Jim Augustus Armstrong is the President of Flooring Success Systems, a program that equips dealers to double their profits, cut their work hours in half and beat the boxes! Many dealers have totally transformed their businesses and their lives for the better after joining Flooring Success Systems.
See what real, live dealers are saying!