The power of positive customer experiences for businesses

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The power of positive customer experiences for businesses

Good customer service can reap rewards for window and door installers, and a customer services strategy should be part of every business. Here, Faisal Hussain, Chief Executive of Double Glazing & Conservatory Ombudsman Scheme (DGCOS), explains why taking care of customers is so important.

I am sure that most, if not all, readers will have experienced poor customer service in their lifetime – I know I have. A negative customer experience is bad for any company, and, in an era of social media and other online platforms, it is easy for a disgruntled customer to make their views known publicly. However, by integrating regular monitoring and tracking of customer satisfaction into everyday operations, installers can effectively mitigate these risks. The benefits of doing so are huge and there are simple steps that installers can put in place to gain real-life feedback from customers. First it is worth reminding ourselves of the power of positive customer experiences for a business.

The benefits are real

Firstly, we know it’s cheaper to retain a customer than it is to gain one, so that should be motivation enough to make sure customers are happy. Often installers are working within a local geographic area where word of mouth recommendations are important, so the aim is to give customers a reason to talk about their experiences in a positive way to their friends and neighbours. This type of customer loyalty reduces churn, reduces call-backs (which is time not spent earning money) and potentially fills an order book going forward.

Good customer experiences also build positive brand associations, maximising a customer’s lifetime value. These positive associations engender trust among potential buyers, and you can’t buy trust, it can only be earned. Trust also enables an installer to upsell, as customers already make positive brand connections with companies with a good reputation, so the figurative sales doors is already open.

Practical steps to happy customers

I believe that most installers operate with integrity and ethics, and with their customers’ best interests in mind. I also believe that most installers would say they are delivering to expectations. However, if you do not ask your customers what they think, how do you know for sure? The only way to effectively measure customer satisfaction is to survey them. A customer feedback survey is just one of the tools that DGCOS has in its toolbox available to installers as part of our installer support programme.

Measuring customer satisfaction is about customer perceptions, which, after all, is what matters most. With facts available, an installer can see what they are doing well, reward staff for doing it, thereby motivating the team, and carry on along that path. Good feedback can and should include customer testimonials to further promote the company and underpin its reputation. Feedback forms can also identify where there might be weak areas, whether it’s in communication, the purchasing process, clarity of information after a purchase has been made, doing what has been promised at the time at which it has been promised, and responsiveness of dealing with any issues that may, and do, arise. This gives an installer the opportunity to take remedial action, whether it’s filling a training gap, introducing a different process, or communicating with teams about service level agreements.

If the worst happens

In an ideal world, installers will be on top of measuring and monitoring customer satisfaction, and customers are all providing glowing feedback. We all know, however, that sometimes problems arise and customer complaints will still be part of life. At this stage, an installer might feel isolated and not know what to do. As part of our members’ support package, DGCOS offers practical solutions to stop complaints escalating, with a view to finding an acceptable outcome for both installer and customer. These touchpoints include confidential support to talk about complaints; independent inspections where DGCOS deems necessary to help resolve a dispute, and mediation and conciliation services.

Whether you are a DGCOS member or not, delivering high standards of customer service on a consistent and continuous basis can only be good for everyone.

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