No matter what type of company you run, solid customer service is essential to staying afloat. Here’s some information on its importance and how to improve yours so that your business continues humming.

The Negative Effect of Dissatisfied Customers

Unhappy patrons are guaranteed to harm your bottom line. Negative experiences last in people’s minds far longer than positive ones. Worsening the problem, they’re more likely to discuss their unpleasant experiences with friends and family. Once these opinions spread on public review sites, they last indefinitely.

One poll suggests that around 89% of customers who have a poor shopping encounter make their next purchase from a competitor. Another survey estimates that $83 billion is lost annually due to unsatisfactory transactions. Therefore, nurturing solid relationships with your customer base remains vital.

The Value of Customer Feedback

The only way you can truly understand how your customers experience your venture is by asking them directly. By presenting the right questions, you can find out all sorts of valuable information, including how well your staff is performing, whether you have every product the customer is looking for, and where you can improve. These comments can guide you toward changes that put your operation on a more solid footing.

It’s okay to ask questions at the point of sale, but be mindful of your customers’ time. Calling them up later might be a better alternative. Start by asking if they wouldn’t mind giving their honest opinions and respect when they decline. Another choice is creating an online survey and posting it on social media and the company website. Alternatively, design surveys that are attachable with every purchase. Encourage a better response by covering the expense of mailing them back. Sweeten the pot with incentives such as discounts or entry into a prize drawing.

The Questions You Should Be Asking

When querying customers, keep everything short and sweet. Focus exclusively on what’s most important to elevate your venture. Find out whether staff responded promptly and offered to provide help. Was the attending employee pleasant and professional? Did this person display knowledge of your inventory and thoroughly answer questions? Follow with a few open-ended questions, such as what the customer liked best about the buying experience. How could the overall process be improved? Would this person recommend you to others? End with a request for an overall rating.

Much hinges on the quality of customer service you deliver. Figure out how yours can be elevated and stay in the black.