This is going to come as a huge shock to way too many people: Your customers cannot read your mind!
They are not there when you train your team. They do not have access to your systems. They are not at your Monday morning meetings. They do not know how you do what you do.
In the past few weeks I have experienced a variety of frustrations in trying to just be a customer.
From minor inconveniences to major misunderstandings, it has become remarkably shocking how difficult some businesses are to work with – because they assume I know how to navigate their internal processes and they don’t volunteer the information I need to work with them.
From something as simple as refilling my dog’s new medication to trying to navigate websites that are supposedly intended to let you take care of things yourself to something potentially unexpectedly costing me thousands of dollars, the lack of clearly communicated instructions has become mind-boggling.
So it has me thinking: Do your customers know how to do business with you? Are you sure?
Have you given them the information they need to get the most out of your services? Are you sure?
Some of this is hard to accomplish in our world full of so much noise and such little attention span. The biggest problem we had in my senior relocation business was that no matter how many times and how many ways we explained the details of our services, too many clients just didn’t absorb the information.
If you’re in a business that helps people in times of stress you too face increased challenges due to all the emotions involved.
If you’re in a business where your professional expertise is your product, such as a doctor, any challenges experienced in working with your office can certainly bleed over (pun intended) into someone’s opinion of your medical proficiency.
Considering how difficult it is to even get a client in the first place, wouldn’t it make sense to spend just as much effort to keep that client by making your business as easy as possible to do business with?
Simple comments and explanations can solve the entire problem and head off hurt feelings, frustration on both sides, wasted money and people going from happy customer to considering alternatives for their needs.
You will seldom hear me say this, but, better to err on the side of caution. Better to assume your clients need more information about how to work with you and provide it to them. If they didn’t need it they will just let it pass.
If your customers needed information that you didn’t provide maybe they’ll figure things out, or maybe they’ll ask you for more information, or maybe they’ll just go away.