Yesterday, a manager at one of our clients, Wagner Equipment (www.wagnerequipment.com), shared a new program they are implementing to improve the customer experience. When a transaction is finished with a customer the frontline employee asks the customer, “Did we take care of everything to your satisfaction today?” They are prominently displaying posters in all of their locations to remind customers that if they are not asked this question, they get a hat courtesy of Wagner. Wagner wants to encourage customers to let them know of any unresolved issues that they can solve.
Great idea though it will be challenging to implement for the reasons I will discuss below.
I think about my own service experiences. Rarely am I asked this question when I complete a service experience. Why? The answers may reveal they need to take some additional actions that they may not want to take or lack the authority to take.
Frontline employees also may be reluctant to ask this question because it is direct and unambiguous question. If the customer is candid and the employee is open to receiving candid feedback, they may hear some things they do not want to hear. On the other hand, they may also be pleasantly surprised. The customer may be quite satisfied and let them know. In either case, it takes a frontline employee who is confident enough to (1) ask the question and (2) does not get defensive if the answer is not to the employee’s liking.
This is a good idea. It does require some training and coaching of employees to make certain they know how to ask the question and what to do with the feedback. One of the real benefits of this approach is that it sends a signal to customers that their feedback, good or bad, is encouraged and expected. New channels for customer communication are opened up. This is not a bad thing! I wished more of my service providers asked this question.