Be Diligent in Asking Your Clients About their Experience, Opinions and Suggestions

Roberta LewissmartPRENEUR Blog Series

No Card, No Letter?

How many times have you bought a large purchase, such as a car, a Peloton, a watch, an expensive purse, and after you pay the ticket or check it is over?  No follow-up note, no call from the store manager or company asking how you like what you bought or how your buying experience went?  Not often, I assure you.   

It is easy for a salesperson to neglect the most important part of the sale.  That’s right, it is not getting their credit card to complete the sale that counts.  As important is, achieving an excellent buying experience, product satisfaction and ultimately, a referral, or a vote of recommendation to their friends, colleagues, and family. 

The Best Feedback Comes From Your Last Customer

The simple task is to ask a few simple questions at or after the transaction is over.  How was your shopping experience here at xyz.store?  Have you enjoyed your shopping time today?  Would you like to share how your installation went?  Did the installers arrive on time? Did they finish their work to your satisfaction? What could we have done better?  How can we make it right? (If and when negative feedback is received).

To get your sales team to embrace this post-sale practice, you need to create a system that rewards their feedback, good, bad, or indifferent, and never uses this information to scold, embarrass or reprimand them.  The importance of this recon is as valuable as gold.  

Train your employees to help improve the customer experience and make the business they work for the best place to shop. This training will focus more on the company’s systems and processes, which make the buying experience uncomfortable, troublesome, and not pleasant, and less on what the individual or person might have done wrong.  The staff must experience your commitment to improving the customer experience wholeheartedly on going, as you reward them for their contributions and dedication to seeking feedback.  

Reward Good Behavior

A good incentive for salespeople is to pay them a higher commission, perhaps 1/2% more, for those that include a follow up post-sale response, handwritten by the salesperson.  Periodically, the manager will call the customer as a second thank-you and help keep the system honest.  Yes, some might complete the post-sale process themselves without consulting the customer for additional compensation, but you want to conduct a check-up to prevent this.  If they feel you might call the customer as the second follow up, they are less likely to do this.  

For the customer, you can send a $25 coupon good for any future purchase within the next 90 days as a thank you for their candid and important feedback.  As you review every comment provided by your sales staff on going, you’ll be surprised by the information and threads that will emerge.  When I was president of a large CE retail business, I brought a stack of customer responses home to review when I was bed-bound.  It was not a good recovery thing to do.  I laughed as I felt worse reading them.  Just remember, bad feedback is actually good news.  It is good that they took the time to share their experiences with your company.  It is now up to you to improve this experience for this customer and all future shoppers.  

The best source of information about your business is the customer

The best source of information about your business is the customer and the shoppers who experience your business, whether looking, browsing, or buying.  Don’t assume every customer is satisfied with shouts of praise for your business – Ask! 

About the Author

Roberta Lewis

Roberta Lewis is an industry veteran with over four decades of successful consumer electronics retailing, internet marketing, and manufacturing experience. Roberta Lewis and Associates was founded in 2005 to support the broad range of consumer electronics businesses including manufacturers, retailers, custom installation businesses, and group associations with marketing, advertising, public and consumer relations, product/brand awareness, and strategic sales management.

Website:   http://robertalewis.com