Stepping into the shoes of your customer trumps everything you’ve ever read or even been taught about what your customers desire. If you’ve never been on the getting side of your service now is the time to do this.
The best players in hospitality regularly have their associates spend a night in the best and the least desirable rooms. What are they looking for-everything? Beyond room cleanliness associates are asked to evaluate the experience. How relaxed is the bed? Were you in a position to control the temperature easily? Were extra pillows and blankets within easy reach? Was a wake-up call prompt? Were their enough hangers?
Evaluations need to go deep. Your customer will never tell you what made them unhappy–they just will not come back.
Spend a day being your customer. Would you do business with you? Ask yourself these types of questions as they pertain to your product or service.
How did my first encounter with (product or service) make me feel? Was I uplifted or frustrated?
In the event that you received the product in the mail ask yourself: How prompt was the delivery? How did the packaging hold up? What feeling did I’ve when I opened the product? Was it easy to use? What were my feelings after using the product?
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Just how do i now feel about the company? Note your responses.
If you are purchasing a service think about these questions:
What was my first impression? What lingering thoughts or nagging feelings do I have about the service? Was the communication open, accessible, uplifting? Am I feeling neutral, uncertain or encouraged about the service and future encounters? Rank your answers on a 1-10 scale and note your feelings.
Was the product or service intuitive-did it answer questions before I had them? Did it supply answers to questions I would have failed to ask but would be important to know?
As you can see most of these questions go to feelings about the experience. That’s all that really matters if you’re serious about service. People buy on emotions and justify using their own logic. No one wants to admit making a poor purchase. Yes, good products with lousy service still sell but in challenging economic times good service gives you the edge.
Experience your product or service as though it absolutely was your first experience with it. Now ask yourself–what do I need to know that I wouldn’t know to ask about? This question, if answered by your product or service, can help you retain a customer-not just get one.
Put a plan in place to experience your product or service regularly. Make it comprehensive-the above examples are just a starting point. Make it mandatory for everyone not just key people.