As funeral service professionals, we hope that when people are in need, they’ll trust us enough to come knocking on our door for the products and services we provide. Regardless of how they choose us, once their choice has been made, it’s up to us and our staff to ensure that they feel they have made the right choice. How do we do this? It’s simple — by letting the customer always think they are right. Their perception is their reality no matter how skewed it may be.
In today’s world of social media, it is more important than ever to ensure customer satisfaction. In the past, an unhappy customer just told their friends and family. Today, your unhappy customer tells the world within a few minutes. And poof, your business has gone viral and not in a good way. Your chances of fixing the customer’s concerns have just been reduced to .01%.
It’s time to fix it before it breaks. Here are some tips we’ve learned along the way.
Adapt yourself to different customers. On a daily basis, you tend to many different types of consumers, all with different styles of buying. Some like to get quotes, some like to discuss transactions face-to-face rather than by phone or email, some expect a higher level of service and some you’ll never be able to please. If you come off as unwilling to accommodate them because their requests are outside of the norm, it could alter the entire dynamic between you and your customer and not for the better. You must learn to adapt your style to different types of customers or at least be aware that these differences exist so your customers will feel like you are working with them. Always be pleasant and accommodating; it will pay off in the end.
Customers today are buying an experience Are you creating one?
Create an experience. The families you serve are not only buying your products and services, they are also buying an experience. Anyone can sell an urn or a casket, but making that buying experience a good one may require and bit of finesse and flexibility on your part. Go the extra distance to make their buying decision a bit more special by offering something they didn’t expect. In Louisiana, we call that “Getting a little Lagniappe”, a little something extra for nothing. You’ll be the hero.
Treat them like they are your first and last customer. There are two major components to customer service. First is the family you’re serving. Without them, there is no service. Second is the service itself. Once the family has chosen your funeral home, they expect to be serviced. You must be available to them from beginning to end. Whether in person, by telephone or e-mail, it is imperative that you treat your customer as if they were the first and last of the day.
Go the extra mile and keep the families you serve happy.
No matter how well trained the staff or how rigid the customer, problems in customer service vary. It can be difficult to get the right balance while ensuring a satisfied customer, but in the end, it will be well worth the time, training, and effort to keep your families happy. If your customers trust you and your staff and are confident that they are getting what they expect plus more from you, they will most likely recommend your services to others.
At the end of the day, as service professionals you must be ready to make the customer experience a pleasant one.
Don’t be like this.
Be like this.
If you don’t have what they want, make alternate suggestions. If they want what you don’t provide, make accommodations or find a resource that will. Moreover, it’s the communication and honest explanation that will win the customer service game. If you can’t, tell them why and if you can, make it the best they’ve ever had. Let them think they’re always right.
By Scott McClure [read bio]
Membership & Communications
Questions about OGR? Contact Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details or visit our website at www.ogr.org.