Lost in Transaction

Is that all he said...?

Ask yourself: How many times a year do we audit our client contact points and ex-clients?

If the answers are: “our clients are satisfied,” or “I never hear anything bad,” or “we don’t need to do it,” than have a swig of Suntory, Bob, pull up a seat and let's see what they are really saying.

This year the voice of the customer roared and discounts and price cuts were the echo.

I mean, people are really wearing jeans they bought for 900 yen!

Next year, as reality continues to sink her teeth deeper into our bottom-lines, it will be time to get more service focused, or you may need to think about getting another bottom.

1. Create a small team to run this audit project, of different job holders, not just your sales people.

2. Map out all PCCP (possible customer contact points) throughout your business.

3. Once done in a step-by-step, g/ng, y/n, etc type format, hire 4 mystery shoppers. At least one should be an ex-client or orphaned client.

4. Have two of the participants (mystery shopper or ex-client) complete their work before announcing you’re doing this at all (...notice the change).

5. Have no more than 10 points for the auditor to check in a y/n or “rate from 0 to 10 system” to allow for easy benchmarking or trend tracking. (Have a simpler version for orphaned/ex-clients posted to them by name. Follow up by phone.)

6. Pick any point of client contact: invoices, pick up/deliveries, POP (point of purchase), onsite work behavior, main number reception etc.

7. Use auditors that represent your client base, or ask orphaned clients. (Can you think of a better excuse to reconnect?)

8. Only audit things that can be improved within reason. Don't go after your website for a complete re-design if that will costs millions of yen to do. Start small, then build up.

9. Use results as the basis of future training and process improvements.

10. Employees that did great, should be rewarded in public.

Be consistent, record results and make improvements.

Marketing budgets are a waste if you don’t critically look at your contact/execution points under this feedback paradigm.

What you say about your company or service on your website is fluff compared to what an ex-client or mystery shopper says.

Once initialized, a mystery shopper/ex-client survey, done properly, can be a scary experience in which your PowerPoint slides, brochures and “value statement” can’t save you.

To quote Bob, “Enjoy your Fright.”

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