Some say that in business, customer experience is the only thing that matters. The experience that a customer has with your business or company, defines how they perceive your offering, service or product. Customer experience affects whether they continue a relationship with you and encourage others to do so, or voice the need to avoid you like the plague. For more information on this point, read 5 Reasons Why Customer Experience Is the Pulse Of Every Business. That being said, your future business does not depend solely on the experience you give your customers.
If not solely customer experience, who else matters?
Before someone becomes a customer, they are considered a prospect. You don’t necessarily know they are a prospect, but they are already judging you by the experiences they have with your brand. Imagine if their first impressions of your company are: your phone number doesn’t work or is never answered, your advertising has multiple sloppy mistakes, your outbound telesales person is rude or treats them badly when they don’t wish to be called or your company van drives aggressively behind them. It is safe to say, they will be unlikely to make it to being called a customer, regardless of whether you’d then treat them like royalty.
Whether your supplier provides a service or product to you or on behalf of you, they are to be respected. Suppliers give you the greatest opportunity for reciprocal business whether through direct agreement or via referral. As a commercial cleaning company, we might provide a commercial cleaning service to any one of our suppliers and we might end up using or recommending the services of any of our customers.
It happens more often than not that company representatives bad mouth a competitor to make their company look superior. First of all, your offering is unlikely to be strong if this is the best sales card you can play. Secondly, not only does the customer devalue your company based on your need to do this, they might also tell the other company your remarks. Take Bicester Tyre & Exhausts and Barrie Plant & Sons for example. These garages are both on the same road, practically next door to each other. They offer similar services with a few unique offerings, their MOT pricing is different and they provide different customer reminder services. These companies have both been around for many years and have both thrived through mutual respect, referral back and forth and the ability to even help each other out. If one was to speak negatively about the other, there are plenty of other garages to refer a client to when they are fully booked or unable to provide the service.
A company’s staff are the people who actually provide a good customer experience as well as spreading a message of your company’s ethos. Even if they are not client facing, their quality of work, opinion and word of mouth make a huge difference. With online forums, review sites, social media and of course traditional spoken word of mouth, a positive opinion of your company can’t hurt, but a negative opinion or experience could be detrimental. It is not always possible to ensure every employee will give a glowing reference of the entirety of your company, but feeling supported, respected and valued may stop them sharing something you’d rather not have revealed. Remember, the client you are pitching your next deal to may have a friend or family member who currently or previously worked for you.
The general public is the ultimate secret shopper. You have no idea who and when someone might be relevant to the reputation of your business. Give out a positive image, and the world could be your oyster, but imagine the following scenarios. You manage to obtain a meeting with a board of directors for a recent proposal. The first phase of discussion was positive and you’re sure you have this deal wrapped up. When presenting your final pitch, one of the Directors turns to you and says, “I think your pitch is great, but I’m afraid I could never hire your company for this service.” Why!?! you ask. Select from the following options: “Your company treated me really badly 8 years ago when I worked for your company,” or “My son applied to work for you 5 weeks ago, you interviewed him but although you promised him feedback, you’ve never bothered to get back to him,” or “I saw one of your staff members in uniform being aggressive towards a local resident,” or “I asked around and I have heard nothing but negative comments about your company.” You get the picture.
At aZtec Commercial Cleaning, we like to share real case studies of our customer experiences as well as testimonials on our website. We realise however that this is not the only way our company of 40+ years (since 1979) will be judged. Fortunately we have been recognised over a number of points to be considered one of the top 3 ‘Best Office Cleaning Companies In Milton Keynes‘. If you like this article, please like and follow us on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter.