After having taken our advice on how to assess customer satisfaction, you may have discovered that your customer relations are not in good shape which may be costing you sales opportunities. No panic, many companies discover this and pool suppliers are no exception! Even with good indicators and a leadership position on the market, don’t lower your guard or you could be overtaken by your competitors. Here are seven easy ways to improve your customer satisfaction sustainably.
1. Measure customer satisfaction again and again
There are three good reasons to assess your customer satisfaction rating regularly:
- The more your survey covers a limited sample of customers, the more the results can vary from one survey to another, sometimes with false alerts.
- Your customers’ opinions can vary depending on whether they are contacted hot or cold. For example, customers can be satisfied with the delivery date or the pool installation, but revise their judgment if they encounter technical problems over time.
- Pool and spa markets are evolving quickly and the same applies to your customers’ needs.
For all these reasons, you should adopt a regular rating strategy and not rely on one-offs.
2. Train all your people to handle customers
To understand how to maintain your customer relations to improve customer satisfaction, you have to make all your people —- and not just your sales reps —- aware of the importance of customer handling! Technicians, fitters, secretaries, accountants and customer service managers are all likely to be in contact with your target group and impact the customer’s experience.
Go further than the rudiments of commercial techniques. You have to move on from “product culture”, now obsolete, to the new “customer culture”, totally focusing your business on customers.
Moreover, it is well known that good customer satisfaction rates correlate with good employee satisfaction rates. Management quality pays on every level!
3. Improve your communications
Sales depend on communications. Without powerful communications, your customer satisfaction ratings cannot stay in good shape! The golden rules include:
- Learning how to listen and get in tune with the prospect’s feelings
- Making you sales pitch more personal
- Being responsive and precise
- Being proactive (for example by contacting a customer after a site is finished to make sure everything went well).
These rules should be applied as soon as possible to all your communication channels - e-mail, telephone, social networks, physical contacts, paperwork, etc.
4. Be responsive
The culture of instantaneity which has developed in recent years has had the side-effect of making us all particularly impatient. Consequently, nothing annoys a customer more than to send an e-mail about a heat pump failure and only get a reply a few days later! The more his frustration increases, the less satisfied he will be. So react as soon as a customer contacts you by e-mail, telephone or leaves comments and opinions on the internet.
Concerning online reviews, remember that prospective customers who consult the opinions left by other customers will note that you reacted to apologize or explain what happened in the event of negative opinions and that you thanked customers who left positive opinions.
5. Personalize your customer relations
Today, your customers want individualized relationships, particularly when they splash out on a counter-current system or a pool house costing several thousand dollars. Many of them are disappointed with their experience with pool suppliers, just because they had the impression they were just one customer among so many others.
For example, when they contacted you for a pool shutter, you used your standard sales pitch without listening to your prospect’s preferences. Or when you ran an e-mail campaign, you sent him a promotional offer for a water treatment product campaign he had already paid the full price for! In fact, it is little details that can make a great difference in your customer satisfaction rating. Use this approach as long as you have customers!
6. Reward fidelity
Giving a little can bring in a lot! Customer loyalty is the basis of every successful business. It costs three times more for a company to recruit a new customer than to keep an existing customer loyal. Keeping your customers happy will boost sales and ensure they do not look elsewhere. A virtuous circle.
Proposing free delivery or a discount card are very simple ways to improve customer satisfaction. But you can go even further by offering personalized gifts or creating a VIP club with exclusive benefits.
7. Accompany your customer
Today’s customers are impatient - but also eager to DIY, provided you tell them how to do the job. Nothing pleases a customer more than when, in all simplicity, you suggest solutions they can adopt at their own rhythm! This is why the number of DIY guides has boomed in recent years.
Handy guides, assembly plans on line and YouTube tutorials are very successful and all over the web for the most frequent problems like measuring the pH of water, pool cleaning, wintering a spa, etc. Customers remember the companies which shared their skills simply to help them!
You have assessed your customer satisfaction ratings, followed these hints if necessary and now have loyal customers, satisfied with your services and ready to tell other people about them? The next step is to discover how to capitalize on your customer satisfaction to boost your pool sales.
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