What Happened to Great Client Relations?

It seems some people have forgotten about Please, THANK YOU and just plain good customer service or as I like to call it client relations.  Aren’t you tired of the lack of good service?    I’m not talking just about guest experiences in the spa; also in general terms, when living your life outside the spa.  I had an awakening over the last couple of weeks.  We recently moved into a larger office. I had to purchase a lot of new office items.  Little did I know, I was in for some surprises!  So I would like to share with you what I experienced so you might save your clients from going through similar experiences…

  1. Standing in line to give business money.

Imagine this, you are shopping or just finished your spa experience and you are ready to go only to find a long line of people before you waiting to do the same thing.  You wait and wait… no one comes to help with the back-up.  You are waiting and waiting to give them money! If a client wants to give you money, you should not make them wait.  They need to be served.  How long do your clients wait in line?  I have walked out of businesses because of that reason.  If I have to wait to check out, they don’t deserve my money. I understand there are exceptions to every situation, but as business leaders, we need to have a backup solution and predict some of these situations.  We need to address them so we are not making our clients/guests and customers wait to give us money.

2. Spending hundreds of dollars and the cashier/receptionist not saying thank you.

I was in a big chain store and bought over $300 worth of items. When I went to the cashier to checkout, she rang up all my items, I handed her my credit card and she asked for my ID.  I said that’s interesting, the person who checked out before me did not have to show you her ID. Why are you asking for mine?  She said "you bought more things".  Of course, I had to say something.  So I said, it’s ok to steal little amounts but not big amounts… where is the consistency?  And then she hands my ID and credit card back, never bothering to say thank you.  Let this be a lesson:  Consistency is the key if you are going to ask for an ID. Ask everyone, not selected clients or based on the amount they are buying. Consistency is a key to success. You can’t have one therapist doing one thing and another doing something totally different, like giving away free upgrades!

3. Limited product knowledge and inability to recommend products.

Buying technology products is always challenging. There are so many models, many different prices, functions, and so on… There are things you need to learn before you make a decision and buy a product.  But here’s an unfortunate reality:  It’s sad when you go shopping and you know more than the sales person that is working in the store.  What is wrong with that picture?  That’s like going to a spa and your receptionist has never had a body treatment or a facial. She is trying to answer your prospective client’s questions while attempting to sell treatments she has never experienced. Good luck with that!   Remember, it’s your image and reputation on the line. Designate time for training to make sure your team has the ability and knowledge to deliver a great experience and fulfill your guests’ needs.

4. Rendering the wrong service and having to do the same job twice or three times.

This is a very costly problem for any business.  Not giving your clients what they ask for because someone is either not listening or not focused on what they are doing.  I took my parents to dinner the other night and two out of the three orders came back wrong.  Does this happen in your business?   Has one of your guests ever asked for a certain type of massage or facial and received another?  Why aren’t employees listening?  It’s not that hard.  Customers are giving you money to listen to their order.  It’s very expensive to take food back to the kitchen and redo it, just like it is in your business.  Listen, pay attention, deliver the correct order and avoid costly mistakes.

5. No customer/client/guest survey.

None of these businesses know about the bad experiences I had because no one sent a guest survey.  So they have no way to fix what is going wrong in their business.  Mistakes hurt.  Are you finding out about your mistakes?  Do you conduct client surveys to see how good you are doing or what you need to fix?  If not, start now.  It will make a big difference in your retention rate.

6. Being on infinite hold, going through a maze of automated transfers and/or people transfers.

This is terrible customer service. Thank God I have assistants helping me!  I refuse to be put on hold or go through a maze of automated channels.  The phone company messed up our lines so bad; they had to come back three times to fix them.  Every time we called the phone company, my team was on the phone on hold for 30 minutes or longer before receiving help. It was horrible.  How about when someone calls your spa?  I called a resort for to speak to a new coaching client  this week and a recording came on to say we will return your call within 24 hours.  I thought to myself, you’ve got to be kidding!  It’s a resort, in the middle of the day, and you want to take 24 hours to get back with me?  So I left a message and when the spa director called me back, she informed that her receptionist was on the other line.  Soooo, why doesn’t your message say24 hrs in the middle of the day?  It’s like shooting yourself in foot.   How are your phone calls being handled?  What messages and impressions are your callers receiving?  Listen to your telephone greeting and hold messages. Make sure your callers have a positive response and receive the right message.

7. No flexibility for loyal clients, they only have black and white policies.

I am a Platinum Delta frequent flyer. One of our team members made airline reservation for the two of us, but instead of making it for 7:30 am she made them for 7:30 pm.  By the time I looked at the ticket, it was too late to change them without a fee. They wanted over $800 to change each ticket.  It did not matter that I spend thousands of dollars with their airline per year, they could care less.  When I asked to talk to a manager, they said there is no manager to talk to.  It is wise to have “grey rules” or flexibility within your organization to take care of your most valued or loyal clients, as they will take care of you. It’s ok to bend the rules to satisfy a great client.  Nothing should be so black and white.  In case you are wondering, I had the pay the price for a new ticket.  But now, I tell everybody how inflexible Delta is.

The reason I wrote this blog is every business needs to consider the lifetime value of each client.  It’s not just about this one transaction. It’s about all their transactions over several years and what they mean to you financially! Do you know how to calculate your lifetime value? We have a lifetime value formula you might find very interesting and useful.  Write to us at [email protected] and we will be happy to send it to you. I hope this gives you some food for thought.  Evaluate some of your processes and make improvements!  Share with us your stories…

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