Why it is Important to Satisfy the Silent Customerby Brian Guy
Marketing Tips: “Keep your customers active and loud”
What is a Silent Customer?
- Silent customers are the ones you’ll never hear a complaint from.
In a perfect world that sounds like a great customer. To go in, do your job, day-in and day-out and never hear a peep from the customers being provided your service. It sound like a dream come true for a business owner… or not rather?
Physiologically the quiet ones will have a major impact on repeat business with you and your service as time goes on. They may not say anything to you directly but they will let a friend or another potential customer know of the bad taste they may have in their mouth (big or small).
You run a breakfast restaurant and every Saturday and Sunday are your busiest days. People come from all over to have the best homemade pancakes as advertised. Two customers, let’s say, Jim and Lisa, have been coming every Sunday for the last two months and really like the product but twice were dissatisfied with being sat a “somewhat dirty table”. Jim and Lisa are not complainers and they just wipe the mess off and try to enjoy their delicious meal. Then they leave knowing in their own mind, that something could’ve been better. After this happened for the second time they decide not to return again. What a very small and easily fixable problem.
So where are we with this right now?
We have a great product but yet the customers (Jim and Lisa) have not been happy with how the table was prepped… twice. It’s a very small and easy to fix problem, but now you’ve lost their business due to them being silent and not speaking up about it. Jim and Lisa spend on average $40.00 every Sunday when they would come in and eat. With 52 Sundays in a year Jim and Lisa would’ve spent $2,080.00 yearly on our breakfast. Not only are we losing money each year but they’ve also told a few of their friends about their unsatisfied experience and this has resulted in fewer new customers. Imagine if 40% of the other customers experienced the same thing? The yearly calculations in loss would be more than discomforting from silent customers….
How could’ve this been avoided?
Silent customers need to be approached and asked:
- How are you today?
- Did you find everything to be of your liking?
- Were you pleased with your meal today?
- Anything we can do better?
Just the simple acknowledgement of their importance to gain better service would’ve been key to the breakfast restaurant not losing a customer. By simply asking Jim and Lisa, if everything was okay today or if they were satisfied, would keep the silent customer coming back. If they were unhappy one or two times with small repairable problems you would still have a chance to make it right. You could offer a 10% discount on the next visit, a free meal… whatever.
Complaints are the key to success:
For every complaint that you get, look at it like a blessing in disguise. Customers are giving you FREE advice on how to improve your business. Some companies pay a lot of money to have their business criticized in order to offer the very best customer experience. Some customers are not silent and will tell you that they’re unhappy. The ones that do speak out are giving you a chance to make the situation right before they leave so they will feel happy about coming back. That is absolutely priceless and should be a valuable learning experience. The silent customer is the exact opposite… They will leave, never come back, and you’ll never know why.
No successful company ever made it just because they had a good product. It took a lot of listening to understand the end users and being able to meet their needs. By sending out surveys or asking questions to all and most importantly “the silent users” will give you the edge in understanding your own company even more. Handling the complaints with an open mind to improve your services (large or small) will let the people in your area know that they matter. Again, physiologically every consumer out there will find something that could’ve been better for them, that’s human nature. The key is, to find out what exactly it is that could be better and develop a strategy to correct it.
Every voice that comes through has the potential to better your detailing business:
Not only will those voices better your business, they will also keep your clients coming back and maintaining your yearly earnings. Your clients will know that you’re willing to do what it takes to keep their business! Once they know they and their possessions matter to you, a greater relationship will form, resulting in proud referrals and happy clients. I guarantee you that every successful detailing company can think of a few, if not many, people that helped them along the way by telling them what they didn’t like, what could be better, or any other general thing they would like to see done in-order to improve the experience and money spending. All in all these are valuable experiences that help highlight ways for you to improve.
Try to get even the silent customers to speak out. They’re great! They’re usually always happy, but maybe find out from them the one thing they don’t like. Give them the opportunity to improve your detailing business. Keep them happy and keep them coming back!
If you’re doing business, you have silent customers!
This all makes great sense and helps me a lot. I’ve asked my past few clients how their service was and if I could’ve done better but they were somewhat peers of mine so all they could say was “you did a great job. Perfect”. I feel as though they are also silent clients because they don’t have the heart to tell me I missed a spot but if I did, they’ll only tell the people that ask. Besides me of course.
Nick, Thank You for taking the time to read.
I agree with you… As the relationships grow so should the openness. And that’s very important! It is always nice to here complements as well though! Keep up the great work!
Great Article Brian, every moment with a customer is a great listening excerise to improve your business and deliver to their expections. Its very rewarding, what the results will come.
I agree Mark! Thank You for taking the time to read the article! Keep up the great work!
Great article, makes sense if you dont ask or bother to show a concern for the customer you will never know if they are fully satisfied or if you could have done something to make their experience better and also to improve future customer interactions.. you cant solve a problem if you are not aware that it even exists.. this was very useful to me as a new business owner and something that i will definately consider every time im with a customer.. thanks Brian for the tips..
Daniel, Thank You!!!
I’m happy this will help! It’s something we all should be reminded of even after years.
Keep going, Keep up the great work!!! It’s a very rewarding career, keep us posted!
This is kinda common sense, well for a good businessman.
When ever I approach a job I ask what their expectations are and I do what they expect and I always try to do something extra, fix something, detail the engine for free, something always go above and beyond their expectation.
Then at the end of the job I tell them everything is guaranteed and to contact me if only to tell me. I’ve only recived a few “comebacks” and everyone was happy.
For all the ones that don’t read these blogs, I say, thanks
Haha! Thanks Raymon!!