Whether your company is in the hospitality, restaurant, attraction or spa industry you’ve probably already realised that for your customers, your great product or service is not enough. What customers really want is the total customer experience. A positive, share-worthy experience from the moment they walk through your doors to the moment that they leave.
Many businesses miss the mark on providing the total customer experience because they are not focused on righting poor service experience. If you focus on the four areas mentioned below, you can turn any negative customer experience around to ensure that every aspect of the total customer experience is covered.
Accept that your customers are busy too
A customer’s time is as valuable as your own. In fact, in many cases, your customer is busier than you, even on vacation or ‘me’ time. They’ve made a researched decision to enter your property and use your products and services, so respect their time.
Reduce wait times or, at least, be honest about them
Not many people are understanding of wait times. In the hotel industry rooms may be unavailable, your restaurant may be full, your spa services behind or your attraction lines around the corner. Every industry runs into situations where wait times are a very real occurrence. It’s those companies that are proactive about wait times that keep customers happy. Have a checks and balances system in place to manage wait times, provide your customers with calculated estimates and updates.
Don’t leave your customers wondering, if a wait time expires from the initial estimate given, ensure that you have a way to update that customer. If the update is unsatisfactory, focus on amending the poor service offered thus far.
Acknowledge and then apologize for poor service
An apology goes a long way for customers, acknowledging that you understand the failures in the service offered can ease any troubled mind. Apologies and acknowledgment mean understanding and make the difference between a customer lost and a customer retained.
How can you keep that customer and morph a bad experience into a better one aside from saying we’re sorry? You offer incentive from them to come back.
Make up for poor service with an incentive to return
You cannot change the experience that a guest has had, all you can do is try to offer something that makes that customer think of you in a different light. Follow up an apology with a freebie or discount. You could offer a discount on the room, 25% off a next visit, a free dessert or a free ticket. These minor investments in customer retention, show the customer you care about their experience and could save you negative attention on online review websites.
Evaluate the Total Customer Experience through Mystery Shopping
The best way to truly understand the gaps in your customers total experience is to hire a mystery shopper. Mystery shopping provides unbiased, professional reports on the customer experience level offered at your business. If there are any ‘cracks’ in the service offered, they will identify those challenges that your face, so that you can focus on improvement tactics.
Applying these actionable tactics to your customer service policy makes the total customer experience a reality. When you have solutions for ‘problem areas’ within a customer’s stay, you show that them that their business is appreciated.