Kreston Reeves DYN

Providing great customer care – including asking for honest feedback –  is good for your business. The feedback you get from your customers is important as it helps you to improve your services, shape products and services and ultimately improve and grow. It also helps build relationships with customers to nurture them for the longer term.

It can be difficult to put a financial value on providing great customer care due to the unique relationships that all businesses have with their customers, along with the different products and services they offer. Businesses, however, count the cost financially when things go wrong, and they don’t provide the products or level of service expected. They can certainly expect a lot of feedback then, but it is important to learn from this, whatever the size of the business.

With so many different channels to communicate through, it is important for business owners to be leading the way, understanding what their customers and clients really think of their products and services, and identifying and tackling issues as soon as possible. Many great brands and businesses have been built with a focus on providing excellent customer care in sectors where others were failing to deliver.

That said, it is difficult for many business owners at the moment, especially in certain sectors where the wider economy is lagging. Many have been struggling with inflation and rising costs and have had to pass those costs onto customers. Some might be struggling with recruitment and retention which can affect service levels. Ultimately, there might be so many factors that are outside of the direct control of a business owner that have an impact on the feedback it gets.

And consumers have changed. We have high expectations; we want everything yesterday and we are more willing to complain when something doesn’t go right.

This is one of the reasons it is important for businesses to communicate with their customers, to listen and to learn and to talk to them about what is going on. It builds trust, demonstrates integrity, and shows customers that you care.

Business owners who manage the expectations of customers will ultimately provide better customer care and have a better relationship with them. ‘Under-promising and over-delivering’ is one way of approaching this, but businesses spend a considerable amount of time and effort building organisations and brands that can fall short on fairly simple measures.

For example:

• Make sure someone answers the phone and can direct the customer to the right person. People get fed up with getting lost in endless phone screening options or cut off. Consider having a chat option online, one of the many ways AI could help your business, but also have ‘real’ people who can step in and talk to customers.

• Deal with an email as quickly as possible – even if it is an automatic reply to say it has been received and which sets out the response the customer can expect. This will help you manage your customers’ expectations.

• Make sure customer details are correct – name spelling, titles, pronouns really matter to people.

• Ask customers how they want to be communicated with and what works best for them.

• Make sure that what you are offering is within your experience and technical capabilities so you can deliver what the customer wants.

• Thanking customers for their business and asking if they will recommend you can help convert new sales, improve your public image, create loyalty, and increase profitability.

It is important that your customers understand that their feedback matters to you, and that you will use the results to better service your customers. All feedback – both positive and negative – helps you shape your business future.

By working in partnership and to a timeline, the whole team (both you and your customers) knows what is expected of it and what is important to your customer.

Why not take the time to review (honestly) how you and your team are doing and if you are providing the customer care expected and deserved? I am always happy to discuss your approach with you if you would appreciate some independent feedback.

Alison Jones can be contacted at

Visit or call us on 0330 124 1399

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