How many times has someone in business made a promise to you that they didn't keep? For example,
- "Stop in on Thursday to pick up your business card order" -- but the cards weren't ready.
- "The technician will arrive between 8am and noon" -- but they didn't show up until 1pm.
- "I'll call you at 10am tomorrow to update you on the status of your order" -- but they never called.
It's so frustrating, isn't it? And unfortunately it happens way too often. The sad thing is, many of these same companies boast about their great customer service all over their website and marketing materials. But in the customer's eye, customer service means doing what you say you will do and following up when you say you will. In fact, these days, that is the MINIMUM expectation when it comes to customer service. People expect you to go above and beyond just doing what you say you will -- it's called under-promising and over-delivering.
So what I want you do to is to take a moment and think about all the things you and your staff promise to do for your clients. For example, when a customer calls, asking someone to come over to clean up a coffee spill, does your receptionist say she'll send someone over within the hour, but they don't show up for 3 hours? Where was the communication break down?
In order to rectify a problem like this, you need to have better training and follow up systems. Perhaps a customer log placed by the phone that lists the reason for the call, what needs to happen, by when and by whom. Then train everyone that answers the phone that it is their responsiblity to make sure any promises they made are commnicated to the person responsible, and that follow up occurs to make sure the promise was kept.
It's so easy for your staff to make promises to customers. But if they don't do the important next step of following up to make sure their promise was kept in a timely manner, then they're potentially causing customer frustration that can result in your customers seeking out another cleaning service. And the sad thing is, you may never know that the reason they left could have been avoided had your employees simply kept their promise instead of filling them full of hot air.