“I’m looking for Tupperware containers,” my wife told the retail employee. “Where can I find those?”
“Uh…try aisle nine,” replied the employee, who then went back to what she was doing. She couldn’t be bothered to help a customer find what she was asking for.
I visited an office supply store recently. The store was virtually empty, with several employees standing around. I asked one of them where I could find a specific product and got the same treatment. Entering a smoothie shop a few weeks ago, I asked to use the restroom. The employee said they don’t have restrooms, and directed me to the Starbucks across the parking lot.
The common denominator between these stories? Businesses are taking customers for granted. These establishments operate under the assumption that customers will continue to patronize their business even if they get treated with careless disregard. They couldn’t be more wrong.
Why Customers Stop Buying From You
According to a study by NewVoiceMedia, in 2016, U.S. companies who provided poor service lost approximately $62 billion to competitors. That number has since increased to $75 billion. Consumers have never been more willing to stop buying from you, switch brands, and punish you for treating them with disregard.
You don’t have to blatantly ignore customers to lose them. It’s enough to simply make them feel unappreciated.
At the beginning of 2018, NewVoiceMedia surveyed 2002 U.S. adults and asked them this question: Have you switched to a different business as a result of poor customer service? 67% of respondents said yes.
Their reasons for leaving:
- Feeling unappreciated: 40%
- Not being able to speak to a person: 33%
- Unhelpful/rude staff: 30%
- Being put on hold for too long: 28%
- Not being able to get answers: 26%
- Not being able to speak with someone senior: 18%
The number one reason consumers switched companies was that they felt unappreciated—taken for granted.
A Massive Opportunity For Floor Dealers
Customer non-appreciation is so rampant across virtually all industries that tremendous opportunities exist for business owners — especially floor dealers — who are willing to take steps to make customers feel appreciated. I teach dealers over 30 strategies for “wow-ing” customers with appreciation. Here are three to get you started:
- Answer the phones like you’re glad they called. I speak with floor dealers regularly to conduct coaching calls and training. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve called dealerships only to have the phone answered by somebody who sounds grumpy, bored, or disinterested. That immediately tells the prospect that you couldn’t care less about them.
- Old fashioned hospitality. When somebody walks into your store, they should get greeted right away. Hand them a beverage menu and ask them what they’d like to drink. If everyone is tied up with other customers, the person nearest to the walk-in should say to their customer, “Excuse me, give me one minute to get our next guest settled in and I’ll be right back.” The sales person should then greet the walk-in and say, “All of our consultants are helping clients right now. I’ll be free to help you in about 15 minutes. In the meantime, please browse our showroom. What can I get you to drink while you look around?” Hand them a beverage menu.
- Communicate regularly with your past customers. Send your customers a monthly newsletter. It should follow the 90/10 formula: 90% fun, informative, welcoming, entertaining communication, and only 10% about flooring. That communicates to your customers that you value their patronage so much that you’re willing to go to the trouble of sending them a newsletter every month.
How many more can you come up with?
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!