Piss poor customer service will kill your business almost as quickly as piss poor marketing will!!!
A while back, Jackie Huba wrote about the bad customer service she experienced in attempting to purchase a gift certificate to a dayspa. In Handling fee, or manhandled? Jackie gives a spa owner an up close and personal look at what it looks like from the customer’s point of view.
At the time, I was in possession of an unused spa gift certificate. After reading Jackie’s spa horror story, I worried that there might be an “un-noted” expiration date on my gift certificate as well, so I called that afternoon to schedule my appointment.
I definitely got the impression that the staff at the spa wasn’t happy to be making good on a sale they pocketed months ago.
At that point, I realized that if I weren’t in possession of a gift certificate, I probably would have hung up the phone and tried to find another spa. However, the buying decision had already been made so I went ahead and scheduled an afternoon appointment.
The morning of my appointment, I got a DM from a friend telling me that I had serious problems on my blog.
Let’s see – I can spend my afternoon getting a massage and pedicure, or I can fix the problem with my blog. Hmmm….. this is a no brainer. I pick up the phone and prepare myself for the ordeal of speaking to Ms. Snooty Spa Receptionist again.
Ms. Snooty Spa Receptionist tells me there will be a 50% charge for rescheduling my appointment with less than 24 hours notice. I bit my tongue and said “I’ll be there”…. and hoped that fixing my blog wouldn’t be a big deal. Fortunately it wasn’t but I show up for my spa treatment looking like I’d just rolled out of bed.
It’s been a while since I redeemed that gift certificate. The manicure and pedicure are long gone and my neck and shoulders are as tight as a drum once again – but I won’t be calling for another appointment at this particular spa. If you ask the owners of the spa why, I’m certain they would blame the “bad economy.”
I have to assume that I’m not the only person who received exceptionally poor customer service at this day spa – which should be the ONE type of business where exceptionally good customer service should be the goal.
However, as bad as their customer service is – it’s not the piss poor customer service that is killing this business – it’s piss poor follow through and marketing.
Piss poor marketing will kill your business faster than piss poor customer service will.
The only reason I remembered this particular experience is that I found this post in my drafts folder this morning. I began writing the post right after the experience but never posted it.
Make this your marketing mantra: Out of sight – out of mind.
I haven’t heard anything from this spa since my initial visit and that qualifies as “piss poor marketing”.
I didn’t get a follow up “We hope you were delighted with your spa experience” email, note or phone call. A phone call would have given me the opportunity to “vent” and would have given the spa owners the chance to redeem the relationship.
However, it didn’t happen.
Time has passed and yet I have never received a “we’re still here” note – aka direct mail piece reminding me of my visit and encouraging me to schedule another.
I have never been offered the opportunity to “send five friends and get a free massage.”
My daughter – who purchased the initial gift certificate for her mother’s birthday in March- didn’t get a reminder that a gift certificate to the spa would make a wonderful Mother’s Day present.
This spa is relying on “word of mouth” marketing to promote their business. My daughter heard about the spa from someone with whom she works. Word of mouth marketing worked once – but the buzz of the new discovery is over and my daughter ended up spending just as much on other presents for Mother’s Day – but she didn’t spend that money with the spa.
This spa is ignoring their most valuable marketing asset – their current customer files. Unfortunately, they are not alone.
It costs a lot more to acquire a new customer than it does to sell an existing customer.
This is not my ‘opinion” – it is a fact.
A lot of small business owners are terrified of “marketing” but sometimes, “marketing” can merely nothing more than acts of customer appreciation.
Stop! Watch closely – can you see the line between “marketing” and “customer service” blurring?
Reach out and touch your existing customers this week. Create a special “thank you offer” just for existing customers and then let them know about it. Even if it’s just a simple “thank you” card, you’ll be surprised what it can do for your bottom line.