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Seeing Through Your Customer’s Eyes

Solutions to help you grow…

A furniture company spends a ton on advertising. When potential customers enter the store, a Help Wanted sign is taped to the front door.

A woman who calls a senior living community to inquire about the possibility of her Mom moving in is placed on hold for nearly ten minutes.

A marketer presenting her company’s products to a group of senior citizens takes three personal calls on her cell phone during the presentation.

Sadly, these are real life examples of bad customer experiences and lost opportunities.

After investing in advertising, hiring salespeople and training customer service staff, many companies neglect a key step.

Market research shows on average only about 10% of dissatisfied customers or prospects complain to someone within the store or company. Roughly 90% will not tell you when they are dissatisfied. If they are not complaining, what are they doing? Probably shopping elsewhere.

It costs a lot more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one—in many cases as much as six times more. Successful businesses find out what their customers and prospects are seeing and hearing —what they like and don’t like—and then do something about it.

You will be amazed at what you can learn from Secret Shopping. Salespeople might be saying things that would make you cringe. Customer Service staff could be rude or impatient.

While sophisticated Secret Shopping can be conducted by outside firms, you can start with a ‘do it yourself’ approach. Build a simple plan to shop at various times and track your findings. Fortunately, most companies learn many employees are doing what they are supposed to do. In these instances, the findings can be used for positive reinforcement and motivation. When things are amiss, the information helps with mentoring and training of staff.

You’ve worked hard to bring in new customers and prospects. Bad experiences lead to lost sales and negative word of mouth for years to come. Seeing through your customer’s eyes and adjusting accordingly is a key part of successful marketing and sales. Secret Shopping can show you what a real customer experience is like. It’s definitely something to see.

David M. Mastovich, MBA, is the president of Massolutions, a Pittsburgh based Integrated Marketing firm that focuses on improving the bottom line for client companies through creative marketing, selling, messaging and customer experience enhancement.

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