The quickest way to torpedo your own retention is failure to relay proper expectations. Customers often have an idea of what they expect their lawn to look like. Unfortunately they rarely understand what this requires. Every sale has its own story. A proper sales pitch is always tailored to an individual customer. An individualistic approach to sales and service is key to a satisfied customer.
Much of the previous post will be reiterated here. The focus here is the repercussions of failing to relay these appropriate expectations. Having spent extended time working exclusively in customer service, the warning signs are quite clear. For simplicity's sake, I will refer to call center representative, customer service, support etc. as a “CSR”.
A common mistake for any CSR is a quickly given, under researched or unverified response. It is tempting to say whatever is necessary to placate a customer. However, as Admiral Ackbar once said, “It’s a trap!” A frustrated customer who receives inaccurate information quickly becomes a former customer. If a customer directly asks for a different representative upon receiving a correct answer to a question, you have a major problem.
Obviously, it’s important to notate a customers responses, inquiries and problems. Recording the responses given are actually more important. Any CSR who is told by a customer they were told differently is a critical issue. While all customer complaints should be taken with a grain of salt, this is a response rarely used as a ruse. If you are part of the majority of small businesses that rely on new sales for growth, this can be nigh impossible to verify. There are options for call recordings and third party verification's of sales. If you can't afford phone recording software or additional representatives to verify sales it will limit those options. Your best option is a clear, concise and scripted response that all CSR’s are trained to give. For customer service, consistency is king.
Delivering accurate, consistent information is crucial. Not just among CSR’s, but to customers as well. Much of this business still relies on word of mouth. A happy customer who refers a neighbor to our services is likely to discuss services with the whom they referred. Telling customers inconsistent information leaves you at risk of losing both. Often times concessions will have to be made. Although, never a proponent of “customer is always right”, a small loss is necessary at times when retaining a good customer. A customers history must be considered if issues arise. It is important to tell a customer that you are stepping outside of normal pricing sparingly. This will quickly open the proverbial “can of worms”. It is highly inadvisable to attempt to retain customers with discounted prices regularly. It will quickly defeat its purpose.