|How to make your customers think badly of you – Part 1|
|By Ravi Sharma
I just walked back into the office from an appointment with an optometrist. I should really say ‘my optometrist’ but it doesn’t feel like I have any relationship with them. This is a little disturbing on the basis that I have been going to the same location for the last 3 years. Contact lenses and 2 new pairs of glasses, 2 eye examinations should make me a pretty good customer. I visited today just to reorder some contact lenses.
I entered the store and was half-heartedly greeted by the girl behind the counter. I explained that I had an appointment. My details were checked and I was then asked to take a seat. I guessed I could be here a while so started checking my emails on my phone (i.e. I was playing games). I had my head down when I heard “could you please follow me”. I looked up to see a bloke who I will describe as someone who looked about 14-years-old, pimples and all. He explained that he was going to do some tests before I saw the optometrist.
He then took me through the tests in what can only be described as an efficient but robotic manner. Once these were completed he asked me several questions – questions I believed he should already know the answers to – like where I work.
Next I was taken into the optometrist’s office where she took me through the usual tests and ordered the contact lenses. The optometrist was pleasant enough – she explained that my eyes had actually improved slightly. Overall the experience was ok – my contact lenses are ordered, which was the reason I visited.
The service wasn't overly bad, it certainly didn't blow me away though. I’m not going to bother referring any of my friends here. I’d be more likely to say bad things about them. But they could have turned the whole situation around, and made me a fan if they just did a couple of simple things:
1. Greet me by name with eye contact: No one from the receptionist to the optometrist took the time to greet me by name and show any common courtesy to build any resemblance of any relationship.
2. Offer a refreshment while I waited
3. If the 14-year-old lookalike had taken a single moment to say “Hello Mr Sharma, my name is Nigel, how are you today? I see you’re here to get some contact lenses, and to make sure that we get you the best ones, I’ll be taking you through some basic tests before you see the optometrist.”
4. Take 1 minute to check my details so I don't have to remind you every appointment
Doing these simple things would have totally changed the outlook of the interaction.
Now put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What do they experience on a typical visit/ service? Where can you improve the customer’s experience?