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6 Myths That Undermine Customer Satisfaction

Contact Author Liz Jazwiec March 2015 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
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Competition is fierce and businesses can’t afford to lose a single customer. In the same respect, precisely because money is so tight, spas can’t shower every client with rose petals and champagne. Often, changing just a few little things can have a huge impact on customer perception.

Here are six common myths that might be keeping you from receiving the stellar customer satisfaction scores you deserve.

1. “People only fill surveys out to complain.” Don’t focus on the bottom 10% who have rated the business poorly. While some do have legitimate concerns, many others just do not want to change their opinions. Focus on increasing the satisfaction of clients who rated the spa as “fair” and “good”—they want their perception improved!

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2. “The data supports the current strategy, so we shouldn’t change.” A hospital was struggling to improve its ratings on the question, “How often is your hospital quiet at night?” After compiling numerous decibel readings, all of which supported the fact that noise levels at night were relatively low, the hospital concluded that it couldn’t make any changes because it was doing everything right.

The hospital was advised to lower its lights earlier in the evening anyway, and three months later, the patients’ perception was that the unit was quieter. Counterintuitive as it may seem, data can sometimes lead you astray. A focus on being right can prevent pinpointing what the customer really needs.

3. “Asking the customer if they need help only makes more work.” Proactively asking people what they need doesn’t make an employee busier; it just ensures they receive requests when they have time to handle them. Plus, if 10 team members a shift ask a client, “Is there anything else I can do for you?” and the customer has a request only two of those times, that means eight times a shift the customer is answering, “No, I’m good. Everything is fine.” That makes a big difference in their perception of service.

4. “Telling people how long things will take is a bad idea.” Businesses resist giving people an estimate of how long things will take, hoping customers won’t notice how much time is passing if they are not given a number. Well, they do—and they also form their own, often inaccurate, expectations. So tell the truth with a cushion. If something will take roughly 30 minutes, tell the customer it will take 45. Organizations that excel in customer satisfaction have learned how to set expectations they know they can exceed.

5. “Never call attention to inconvenience.” When something is broken, inconvenient or unpleasant, it can be easy to naturally resist calling customers’ attention to it. But face it: Customers are going to notice anyway—and they won’t be happy. They may even think their experience is not important to the business if it seems to be ignoring issues. However, when a business is open about the inconvenience, people’s perception of how much an organization cares goes up.

6. “Amazing service happens only once in a blue moon.” “Wow” service isn’t thrilling, marvelous, sensational or big—but it is personal! Personal touches will improve perception greatly.

Improving perceptions will not require moving heaven and earth, though it might require some out-of-the-box thinking and a willingness to engage with clients on a personal level. And once the myths are ditched and the team learns how simple it can be to boost customer satisfaction, you’ll find that you and your employees are more energized and motivated than ever.

Liz Jazwiec is author of Service Excellence Is as Easy as PIE (Perception Is Everything) (Fire Starter Publishing, 2014), Hey Cupcake! We Are ALL Leaders (Fire Starter Publishing, 2012), and Eat That Cookie! Make Workplace Positivity Pay Off…For Individuals, Teams and Organizations (Fire Starter Publishing, 2009). She is a nationally renowned speaker, strategist, and consultant who has shared her passion for leadership, engagement, and service with audiences across the country.

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