Last week Paddy McGuinness posted on Twitter. And as you can
see from the screenshot below. It says
Found out a shop nearby has
put the price of hand sanitizer up from 99p to £4.99! How do these people sleep
at night? That’s the price of milk, bread and eggs for families that are
already financially stretched. Sad to hear but even sadder that I’m not
This, of course, is due to the coronavirus epidemic that’s
happening at the moment. And it reminded me of when there was a petrol crisis
many years ago,
My local garage doubled the price of fuel overnight, as it
was in such short supply.
Yes, he thought he was being clever. He knew that it was all a case of supply and demand. And as he had the only petrol left in the town, everyone was going to go to him and would have no choice but to pay the price he demanded.
All well and good, or so he thought. He made some extra money. Quite a lot actually. But what happened when the petrol shortage
came to an end? His regular customers
boycotted him and told everybody else to boycott him also.
Three months later and he was bankrupt. The garage closed.
Before you think about taking advantage of your loyal
customers, think of the long term impact, rather than immediate gains for
yourself. Why not try building even more
loyalty by doing something special to help those customers in their time of
Come on, folks. Don’t be greedy. Look after others, and they’ll look after you.
As you may already realise by now, I am a stickler for
And I believe it’s the little things that make the big
As Maya Angelou famously quoted:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Think about how you leave people feeling in your business. Are there any small changes that could make a big difference in how you make prospects and clients feel?
service isn’t rocket science. It
really is the little things such as a smile, a handwritten note, or a follow up
to see how they are.
We tend to spend time focusing on wooing our prospects to
turn them into clients and a big failing is stopping this once they have purchased. These people can become our best marketers if
we continue to show we care about them.
Send a thank you card, email to see if they are happy with their purchase or send a client only special offer for a future purchase.
And here are a few examples that I have come across just
Good customer service
Received a package on a low-cost item where they had included a small bag of sweets – nice touch.
Had an online chat to discuss a problem. After the chat, I received a lovely email with the direct contact details for the person I had been chatting to so I could go to them directly if any further problems (no having to repeat the problem again which is so frustrating).
An order was messed up and after trying to find out what happened, the customer services chap gave me false information to try and fob me off (very bad customer service). I emailed a complaint and with no further fuss I had the product delivered along with a full refund to apologise (they have now kept me as a customer)
After a long tiring drive to stay at a hotel, upon arrival the lady at the desk said she had heard there were long delays on the motorway. She said she thought we would be tired so had gone to our room to draw the curtains and turn on the lamps so we could have a lie-down and a rest. A small but hugely appreciated touch.
Bad customer service
I paid next day delivery for an item which didn’t arrive. I contacted the company to find out what had happened. There was no apology but just a barrage of excuses that drivers get tired and sometimes deliver to the wrong address, can’t find properties in rural locations etc. Yes, they said they would investigate where the item was but no refund on delivery cost and didn’t seem to care. They have lost a long-standing customer.
At the same hotel mentioned above, upon coming downstairs in the morning, my husband and I both said good morning to the new lady on the desk, but she couldn’t be bothered to lift her head and smile. She only just muttered ‘morning’ whilst continuing to look at her mobile! This made us feel rather unwelcome.
I emailed to book an appointment with a health and beauty therapist, gave her the dates I was available, and she simply said: “no, can’t do those” in her reply. No other dates suggested, no saying ‘unfortunately I’m booked up’ or ‘I’m so sorry I can’t fit you in’. The message was so short and snappy I won’t be going to her again.
I purchased a product on an ongoing subscription. It was something new and I was a little nervous about trying it as the retailer knew. After my first purchase, the only time I heard from the retailer was to let me know my next month’s payment was due. There was nothing wrong with the product, but I didn’t feel valued as a customer, or that they cared if I was getting on with the product of not, but that they were only interested in getting money out of me. Their direct competitor has been in contact more than them and so I am now in the process of switching.
Does any of this resonate with you either as a seller or a
If you receive either good or bad customer service, take note of it. If you receive bad customer service, are you guilty of this also? Be honest with yourself. If you receive good customer service, do you do this with your business or could you incorporate it in some way?
I’d love to hear any stories of your own that you may have so let me know in the comments below.
The thing we all hate happens. We get a customer complaint. It is inevitable that we will all get an unhappy customer at times but it is how we deal with them that matters.
We have two choices. We can either go on the defensive and potentially make matters worse, or we can use the opportunity to learn and improve our business for the future.
Problems are pregnant with possibilities
Generally, unless there is a fundamental fault with the
product or service you are providing (and which you need to acknowledge and fix
immediately), complaints arise from a misunderstanding between parties.
It may something as simple as an order arriving on a date
that the customer believes is late but you believe is on time. This will
lead to you needing to set out your delivery policy in a more clear way.
It may be you supply a product such as a handbag and a customer complaint is the bag is not as large as shown in the picture. This leads to more details needed with your images. Put the bag against something for scale in pictures or quote measurements.
But whatever the complaint, most can be resolved if dealt
with in the right manner.
I met a client recently who had received a complaint and her reaction was to say ‘how dare he?’ and tell me how she was going to phone him and tell him in no uncertain terms how unhappy she was with him. I can just about guarantee 100% with this attitude that this customer will never do business with my client again and will more than likely tell friends and family never to deal with her again either.
I sat her down and asked her to put herself in the
customer’s shoes. Something had happened that caused him to be unhappy
and less than satisfied. Finding out what this was and how to avoid the
situation again in the future was imperative. She needed to look upon
this complaint as an opportunity to improve her business so that she did not
find herself in the same situation again in the future and to help her improve
customer satisfaction to retain other clients.
And again, very recently, I had someone who lost their key client. Why? Because he dared to complain about the standard of work and she took umbrage at this and had an argument with him over it. She is now left struggling to replace the income he took elsewhere.
How to deal with a customer complaint
The first thing to do is to stay calm and try not to take
the complaint personally. The complainant is usually dissatisfied with
the product or service and not you personally. Try to distance yourself
and your feelings and put things into perspective. Taking things
personally will only lead to an emotional response that is likely to make
Acknowledge the complaint
You then need to acknowledge the customer complaint and apologise for how the complainant is feeling. This is not accepting responsibility but is showing empathy for how the other person feels and letting them know you wish to help.
Get the complaint in writing
Wherever possible, ask for the complaint in writing. Or if the person is complaining to you verbally, let them know you are going to write everything down so you can ensure you have all the facts and do not forget anything. This can help as when someone starts to write, they can realise how unreasonable they may be or how they may have overreacted somewhat. Also, if they are in front of you and angry, they will see that you cannot write as fast as they speak and so will have to slow down, which in return will give them more time to breathe and calm down.
Take time to review
You do not need to give a solution immediately if you do not
want to. You can let them know that you are going to review the
complaint, look into what has happened and will get them back to them with a
response in a specified timescale.
This both gives the complainant the satisfaction that you
have listened and something is being done and also gives you the time to
consider what has happened and what you will do to resolve the situation.
Decide upon a solution or response
Now you need to get on and look into the situation and
decide what you are going to do. This will depend entirely upon your
business and what the complaint relates to. It could be a refund, a
product replacement or simply an apology and assurance it won’t happen again if
If however, you find the complaint to be unfounded, be
careful with your response. Be clear that you have investigated the
matter, fully understand their frustration but then explain why you feel there
is not a complaint to answer.
Respond to the complainant
Do make sure you feedback to the customer within the timescale given or be prepared for the complaint to be escalated upon.
Always stay calm, speak slowly if talking to the customer,
and assure them you are taking the complaint seriously as you value their
Even if you cannot come to an amicable solution, they will
hopefully appreciate that you have taken the time and trouble to listen and try
to do something for them.
Document every customer complaint
Now document everything. Just in case this complaint
does not get resolved and is taken further, or resurrects its ugly head in the
future, make sure you have all conversations and facts documented with dates
The exception to the rule
There is always the exception to the rule of course and you may have the misfortune to come across someone who complains just for the fun of it. This person is just out to cause trouble and the best thing to do is to apologise for the way they are feeling and state that you are not a good fit for each other and therefore it will be best to not deal with each other again. Do not let these people bully you or get you to cave in to unreasonable demands.
Just remember, the customer will not so much remember what
you said, but more how you made them feel. Do your best to leave them
feeling you took the time to take them seriously and valued their custom.
You may not do business with them again, but it may a good case of damage
limitation as if they know you genuinely cared, they are less likely to bad
mouth you to future prospects.
Hopefully, by using this method, any customer complaint you have will be dealt with amicably and gain you a reputation for excellent customer care.
Do you get confused when posting on social media. Are you unsure where, when and what to post. Follow these simple tips to make it all a lot easier.
Where to post
Before blindly following the crowd and using the same social media channels as everyone else, stop and think. Which channels are going to work best for YOUR business?
Who is your ideal client and where do they hang out?
Firstly, you need to be clear on who is your ideal client. You need to know who they are, what their
interests are and where they go online to ask questions and find answers to their
problems. When you know this, you will
have a better understanding of where they hang out online.
Facebook is still currently the biggest social media platform
but that doesn’t mean it is the best for your business. If you have a B2B business you could be
better placed using LinkedIn.
If your business is highly visual Pinterest or Instagram could
be the place to hang out.
Instagram has rapidly gained popularity particularly with a
younger audience, but still has to catch on with the older generation. Therefore, if you are looking to gain elderly
clients for arthritic massage sessions, Instagram may not be the best place to
spend your time.
One or two channels can be better than the whole caboodle
To avoid overwhelm, don’t go trying to post on every social
media channel going. It will simply
become too time consuming and confusing.
Choose two channels and become really good at these rather than spreading
yourself too thinly.
When to post
When planning when to post take into consideration what time
zone your ideal client is in and when are they most likely to be active online.
If your target audience is young mums,
they are unlikely to be online when it’s the early morning school run or pick
up. You may be better posting when they
have put the kids to be and are settling down in the evening.
What to post
You want to create a mix of posts both in type and content,
but to attract your ideal client you need to posting what they want to hear
Get social yourself.
Join groups where your ideal client hangs out. What questions are they asking? What are the hot topics? What frustrations are they talking
about? Use this information to create
posts that help solve their problems or give tips to help them towards gaining
solutions for their problems.
Listen to the words and phrases that your ideal clients are
using. Replicate these words in your
posts. If you hear people complaining
and asking for tips on how to get their child to sleep through nightmares,
start your post off with ‘top tip to help your child sleep through a nightmare’. Keep it simple and don’t get so creative with
your words that you lose your target audience.
Look at the interaction within these groups and also watch your competitors. What type of posts get the most response? Is it quotes, pictures, questions or top tips? Replicate these types of posts on your own chosen channel.
P.S. Would you like help planning your social media to help increase your reach to gain more clients and make more money? Join my member’s club for a step-by-step guide. You’ll love it and start to get the results you want. Find out more here.
Have you noticed your reach on Facebook is getting less and less?
You are coming up with what you think are fabulously creative posts and yet still there the comments and likes are so intermittent as to be non-existent?
Well, here is the reason why.
Firstly, one of the simplest reasons may be the huge increase in the number of people using the platform. This means that you are now trying to gain attention from a far larger pot than you were a couple of years ago. More and pages are being created on a daily basis so you really need to make sure that you know who your ideal client is and post things that are going to captivate your audience.
But the other reason that has cropped up relatively recently is that Facebook surveyed hundreds of thousands of people and the overwhelming response was that they didn’t want to see so much promotional content. They wanted to see interesting posts.
Facebook is rewarding quality, not quantity
Therefore, Facebook decided to reward those that created quality content that their audience really wanted to hear about rather than the constant promotions and gimmicks that are so frequently posted.
Facebook is less and less likely to show overly promotional posts that use calls to action and push for sales, to enter competitions etc.
Facebook will seek out those posts that gain interactions such as likes, shares and comments which show they are quality, relevant posts and they will help these posts to reach a wider audience.
Overall, the Facebook algorithm is rewarding those pages who post less and focus on quality rather than those which post numerous times each day that is not of much interest to the audience.
Too many people trying to widen their reach when it drops by posting more often (up to 10 times per day), but this is simply going to work against you.
To increase your reach, you need to make sure you write your posts for what your target audience wants to hear and read. Stop trying to sell so much and concentrate more on giving value and starting to build trust and relationships.
You can still promote your business of course but use your language carefully.
Rather than saying ‘click the link to buy’ try something along the lines of ‘there is something amazing awaiting you on the other side – go check it out’. Do you see the difference?
A few other tips include:
Schedule posts from Facebook rather than a third party software
Some people believe that third party apps, such as scheduling posts from HootSuite, Buffer or similar, will affect reach.
I have tried to get conclusive answers to this but there is so much conflicting information out there. If your reach is significantly dropping and you use third party apps, it may be worth trialing using Facebook’s own scheduler for a while and seeing if it makes any difference. (Do let me know the results in the comments box).
Upload videos directly to Facebook, not via YouTube links
There is numerous research that Facebook favour videos that are uploaded directly to its site rather than via links from YouTube. According to a study by Loren Baker of Search Engine Journal, they discovered that on average, native videos reach 2.04 times more people, receive 2.38 times more likes, 2.67 times more shares, and 7.43 times more comments.
Quite simply, Facebook does not like anything that drives traffic away from its site to an external source. Therefore, any post taking the audience away will simply get less reach.
Don’t overuse links to your website.
Leading on from the point above, Facebook wants to keep people on its site, not to take people away to other platforms. I have seen a few people using a new trick to try and get over this were rather than putting the external link in their main post, they create the post and tell people to look in the comments below for where to go for further information. They then simply put the link as a comment below.
Aim to gain interaction.
Facebook will increase reach to those posts that get likes, comments and even the amount of time someone spends viewing the post.
So how you can encourage this?
People like to feel good, laugh, know the latest gossip and news and be shocked! Think how you can use this in your posts. Use motivational posts, let them in on something funny that has happened in your day, give them the latest hot off the press news. These can be the type of posts that will gain likes, comments, and shares. Ask simple but fun questions!
Now for a disclaimer. At the time of writing, I believe my research and findings to be correct. But good old Facebook can change its rules and algorithms at any moment so test what works for you best and keep an eye what others are doing that are getting the interaction you so desperately want.
P.S. Want a little help getting a post like? Pop the link in the comments below and I will pop over and take a look and if it’s a good one, may just leave you a like and a comment
P.P.S. Do you get stuck when trying to come up with fresh content to post on social media? Does your mind draw a blank and you get confused as to what to post next? Subscribe nowto get immediate access to my simple planner and easily create a whole month’s worth of posts to attract more attention to your business.
Are you able to explain your business to different people in different circumstances? Or do you have a ‘one size fits all’ spiel that you use time and time again?
If the latter, read on …….
You may have seen in my Absolutely Fabulous Facebook group that recently I asked for a short title of what you do such as business consultant, artist, interior designer, accountant etc. This was to create a directory of services of members within the group.
What I got back from many was a long-winded explanation of what they did. These people missed out because I ignored them. They told me what they wanted me to hear not what I was interested in and had asked for.
Some explanations of what they did I simply didn’t understand! It was so gobbledegook I had no idea and even when I asked a couple, they still couldn’t explain it to me!
Some people told me to go look at their website. Why should I? I’m not going to waste my time trying to work it out for myself if they can’t tell me themselves.
Only the next day, another group I am in also asked people to describe what they did in a single sentence.
Here are a few answers:
“I show you how to alchemize your pain into a superpower”
“I provide a soft holding space where you can release anything that holds you back so you can be free”
Now, maybe it’s me but I have absolutely no idea what these people do! Inspiration??? What the heck does that mean?
Then there were clear and concise answers:
“Helping adults and children conquer anxiety and depression”
“I help women get clients with social media marketing”
“I am a divorce coach that supports woman emotionally whether to leave or stay in a marriage.”
“I take the humble bead and bit of wire and create something to help a person sparkle and feel great”
Yay! I instantly got these and understood what these people did. And I especially loved the last one. It completely stood out from the crowd for me.
Have a think how you explain your business. There are times when you can be super creative and imaginative and there are other times when you need to short, concise and to the point. You need to be prepared for both.
Whatever you do, stop expecting others to do the groundwork to decipher what you do. You need to be ready to grasp every opportunity and respond in the right manner. There will be plenty of other people doing what you do who will oblige and you will lose business to them. Harsh but true!
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