I’m a fan of singer/songwriter Robert Earl Keen. In his song, “It’s The Little Things,” he sings:
It’s the little things the itty bitty things
It’s the little things (you do)
That piss me off.
It’s the same with the customer experience. If a customer of yours is experiencing a minor problem over and over again and nothing is done about it, his loyalty to you is going to slowly leak out with a steady drip, drip, drip. It may not be obvious at first, but he will slowly stop the proactive positive word of mouth and referrals he gives you to more reactive neutral or even negative comments.
To overcome this, you need to have a process in place that captures these complaints when made to your frontline staff and communicates them upward. Then action needs to be taken.
For example, I’ve been a loyal member of 24 Hour Fitness Gyms for about two years. Three times a week I’m on an elliptical trainer and I try to always wipe it down with a paper towel and disinfectant for the next person as the chain asks.
However, about forty percent of the time, this particular location is out of either paper towels or disinfectant in the two stations they have on the second floor. Every time it’s happened I’ve alerted the front desk on the way out the door. For awhile they were stocking extra towel rolls, but then they stopped.
It’s not that big of a deal to set out extra rolls and extra disinfectant. I’m not obsessive compulsive and I’ll bet there are many customers who care more about this than me.
When my loyalty starts to slip, I start to wonder if a competitor might offer a better experience. In this case there’s a Lifetime Fitness near by.
Do you have a process in place to handle customer complaints? Does this process include resolution? It’s not enough to just log in complaints; actions will need to be taken when those complaints are valid.
Drip, drip, drip.
You won’t catch the flu if you follow me on Twitter. I’m txglennross