Luxury Coach & Transportation

September 2018

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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10 WWW.LCTMAG.COM LUXURY COACH & TRANSPORTATION SEPTEMBER 2018 PUBLISHER'S PAGE I SEPTEMBER 2018 C ommunication is the single most important tool for bonding and connecting with people in business. When much of our industry success rides on a positive client experience, why are we so reluctant to talk to our clients, to truly get to know them and solicit performance feedback? Could it be fear of asking customers to be candid with us? Or are we overly focused on transactions and not paying enough attention to the end-user? Or, perhaps it's a matter of feeling like there is no time in your hectic schedule for client relationship building. Trust me, understanding your customers and building a solid customer relationship is not rocket science. There are EASY techniques you can follow to get reliable feedback. It might help to know that keeping your existing clients happy is a lot less expensive and disruptive. It costs five to 25 times more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. Here are some easy steps you can take to capture client feedback to use to improve your service: • Customer In Person Interviews — Once a year is fine. Customer interviews are commonly used to understand particular point-of-views regarding service measures. In-person is considered to be the most useful form of building trusting customer relationships. This is because customers perceive this type of interaction as more personal. • Customer Satisfaction Surveys By Email — Do this immediately following each trip. Make sure your software supplier has this set up for you. Be careful here. If you don't ask the right ques- tions with the help of the right platform, you may never get reliable answers. With platforms like SurveyMonkey, you can choose from different types of surveys available, such as yes/no, multiple choice surveys, drop-down surveys, and textbox-based surveys. • Live Chat — It's time for your website to offer live chat (in case you don't already do this). You can use HubSpot Messages to get live chat up and running on your website. Having an onsite chat is an incredible method of collecting real-time customer feedback and reducing the pos- sibility of your customers feeling unsatisfied. • Social Media — This is a potent ingredient of the feedback cocktail, as it provides you the opportunity to have a two-way communication with your customers. On any of the most commonly-used social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, you can tap into relevant ongoing conversations, connect with those customers by actively participating, or quietly listen (while lurking and taking notes). You are now hearing feedback — direct and unfiltered — from customers. • Website Behavior - This is a great place for you to collect client preferences by analyzing your customer behavior on your website. You can do it fast with easy tools like CrazyEgg. • Recorded Call Data – Reviewing recorded calls with your reservationists/sales team will give you a broad overview of how your people are interacting with clients and let you in on how your brand/reputation is being perceived. Although this requires a lot of time, I still suggest you commit to doing it every now and then. What it'll also do is help you with training and enhancing your customer service. The best companies are those that take a no-excuse attitude towards customer satisfaction. They don't guess at what their clients think or speculate on what they view as good service. The most suc- cessful operators are those who ASK their clients what they want, how they like to be treated, what they expect, what they love, and what they wish was different with the working relationship. To quote one the greatest minds in customer experience, Jeff Bezos put it this way: "If there's one reason we have done better than of our peers in the internet space over the last six years, it is because we have focused like a laser on customer experience." Knowing What Your Client Really Thinks of You Can Dramatically Improve Your Business Sara Eastwood-Richardson, LCT Publisher sara@lctmag.com Trust me, understanding your customers and building a solid customer relationship is not rocket science.

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