Hey Awesome! It’s Nicole from NicoleontheNet.com and ContentDrafts.com and CoachGlue.com and Beachpreneurs.com. I hope you’re having a great day!
This has been the summer of home maintenance for me.
- Pool liner replaced. Check.
- Roof fixed. Check.
- Trees trimmed and cut prior to hurricane season. Check.
- A/c breaks in car and at the house and needs to be repaired. Check.
- Ceiling in bathroom from water leak repaired. Check.
- All baseboards replaced in living room, bathroom, and master bedroom (after water leak). Check.
I feel like lessons have been presenting themselves to me a lot lately through this experience.
For instance, after Hurricane Ivan in 2004, we needed a new pool liner. Our pool was filled with shingles and nails and branches and was not salvageable.
So, we found Dan. We both really liked Dan. He was the owner of the company and answered all of our questions. In fact, we liked him so much that we also used his company to do our pool maintenance for a few years.
I thought of him as almost a friend. I’d see him riding his bike and say to my hubby “that’s Dan!”
Flash forward to 2019. We need a new pool liner. They last approximately 15 years and ours must have had a timer.
We didn’t think twice. We just contacted Dan’s company. I drove over there. I told them that they had my measurements on file, I chose a liner, and I paid half – approx $1800.
And then I waited.
And I waited.
And I waited.
I knew the process takes about 6 weeks, so I didn’t start to get annoyed until after week 6 when we hadn’t heard a peep.
- Was our liner ever ordered?
- Was it scheduled?
- Were they just going to show up one day while I’m laying out there in my swim suit with my white butt showing?
- Could I plan a pool party or would they show up in the middle of it?
There was zero communication.
So, we reached out and got a “you should be up soon”.
And then another week went by.
And we followed up again, and got another “you should be up soon”.
And I was, at this point, REALLY not loving this process.
Then, one day, we got a call saying “we’ll be there today”. So, again, not great communication. We scrambled and got prepared.
Some workers showed up. They didn’t communicate great either. We weren’t clear on the process at all.
They installed the pool liner. They came back a few days later to check the water levels. We never saw Dan or heard from him or the company to ask how things were going.
We got an invoice. I went in and paid the balance on it (another $1800). And still no word from anyone.
Not a “thank you”. Not a note in the mail. Nothing.
So… if we are still at this house in 15 years, you can bet that Dan’s competition will be getting our business. Even if we have to pay a little bit more.
A similar thing happened with our roofing company, but I won’t go into details about that. Let’s just say they went MIA, too. And we had no idea if or when they might show up. And this was way after the “we’ll have it done in 2 weeks” window.
Why am I sharing this story today?
Not so complain so much, but just to show the importance of communication.
If customers are left to wonder “Did my order go through?” or “Is this a scam?” or ‘Do they even care about me?” then your help desk will get the brunt of the frustration. And, if their cries to the help desk go into a void, then in this day and age, your customer will go to social media.
I was excited to order my new pool liner. I was excited about the experience. Now, not so much.
It’s hard to earn back that excitement they felt while they were placing their order. And it’s hard to earn back that trust.
What can you do to keep your customers happy?
1. Communicate clearly the product they are buying so get exactly what they paid for. You’d be amazed how often I want to buy a course and I can’t even tell from the sales page if it’s a video, audio, or written training. A confused mind does nothing. Or if they buy, and are confused, they aren’t getting what they thought they were buying in the first place.
2. Clearly explain the process that will happen during and after their order. Where will their download be? Where should they look?
3. Set expectations. If your shopping cart will send the download info and it may take up to 30 minutes, let them know that up front so they aren’t frustratedly clicking “check mail” wondering if their download got lost.
4. Say “thank you” and mean it. Without our customers, we’re out of business.
5. Make it easy to contact support. Both during office hours and after office hours. Don’t make them jump through hoops. Don’t make them feel like their time was wasted.
6. Clearly have a link on every page of your site that takes customers to their members’ area and to support. You’d be surprised how often I go to sites to log in and can’t find it. Yes, I have it in last pass for most sites, but that’s just an extra hoop. Make it easy for people to consume the material they buy from you so they’ll get results and go from being a customer to a fan!
If you need some help with what to say to your customers after they buy, you might like these:
If you’re a contractor. This is equally important.
Our policy at CoachGlue.com with our team is do not leave us guessing. If we ask for something to be done and do not get a message that “this is done”, then we assume it is not.
Also, in both of my basecamp accounts, the person who does the work is not allowed to mark it as done. They have to say it’s done. Then someone else checks it. And then we mark it done.
We’ve had to let good workers go who were doing the work but not communicating because it causes stress, chaos, and confusion.
So, keep your clients in the loop. Let them know when things are done. Let them know if you’re going to be late. Otherwise, it’s up to them to guess and that’s not, as you can see in my earlier example, how you keep a client happy.
This is also super important when dealing with affiliates and JV partners.
A confused affiliate does nothing.
Make sure they have the information they need to promote.
And always, always make sure they know they are appreciated.
This comes back to the Love Languages. Give them words of praise, public shout outs, gifts when appropriate, and genuinely love and appreciate them. They’ll KNOW if you do.
With hugs and high fives,
Nicole Dean and Lemur