Touch Points… heard of them? Aware of them? Do you practice them, train your staff on them, and stay consistent with them?
A “Touch Point” is any form of contact that your customers have with you. It can be the first time a customer comes into your store, the first time they hear or see your ad, the first time they visit your website, the first time they get service from you, the list goes on… touch points extend infinitely into the beyond — meaning touch points happen all the time; this is why they are so critical to master and maintain. When a customer “touches” you… what impression are you leaving with them? Is is positive, or negative.
Obviously you want to monitor, deliver & maintain positive “touch points” with your customers, as you always have more tomorrow customers than today ones. But touch points are not easy to control. There are always variables that you have no control over. Sure, as a business owner you strive to make sure that every customer experience with you and your business is pleasurable… but what happens when a touch point takes a nose dive? A “soured” customer experience can quickly spiral out of control – unless you have a built in defense policy to quickly rectify the situation. And there lies the key phrase… quickly rectify the situation.
The great sales trainer Jeffrey Gitomer (read his books – all of them) says the key to overcoming a negative experience is to quickly fix the problem, but then to “one-up” the situation. Fix the problem and then add something extra… add an extra WOW. Do something unexpected, do something memorable, regain control of the situation. For example, you’re an automotive repair shop. A customer has just brought in a vehicle. You work on it, fix it, but in the process – something happens and now this customer now has to return after 2 weeks because something went wrong. You can fix it when you get to it, or you can fix the problem quick — make it right, and then add something extra… depending on the severity of the damage and the attitude of the customer, maybe a free oil change on their next visit, a car wash, a tire rotation. You get the idea.
Remember, the most negative of all advertising is bad “word of mouth”. Bad word of mouth spreads like Nutella on a hot biscuit. Train your employees to properly handle negative experiences, empower them to make things right when a bad touch points occur. Don’t put off the problem, handle the problem. Handled correctly, a bad touch point turns into positive word of mouth advertising. And while positive word of mouth doesn’t spread as fast as negative word of mouth… it spreads. Know how to handle negative customer experiences and you’ll be rewarded in repeat business.