Big wins don't require big investments. Sometimes, the simplest things can improve your customer reviews. And the fact that many businesses overlook this gives you an opportunity to stand out. I travel a lot. Most often, I keep tabs on my plans, but I prefer to forget the details. This week, I made a mistake. I booked a hotel room when someone had already made a reservation for me—at another hotel. Oops.
Turns out that the hotel I DIDN'T check in to last night had a 48 hours cancellation policy and has billed me accordingly. My bad, but I couldn't help but point out how one simple tweak to their process would have saved the time and cost.
If you subscribe to a lot of online services and applications, you'll be used to receiving billing notifications in advance of the subscription fees being charged to your account. A simple email gives you the opportunity to cancel the $15/ month charge if you no longer need the service.
Why, then, do hotels not provide the same notification the day before their cancellation policy kicks in? For a two nights stay, that could save me over $1,000. Or give them three days chance to fill the room if I change my plans.
Building more customer communication like this into your process is dead simple. Any booking system can generate emails for about, well, $0.01. One night at the hotel would pay for 50,000 of those.
If I ever see such a service, you can bet I'll mention it here and pass on the hotel's name to my friends.
Examine your customer process
Grab a napkin and scribble the process your customers have to follow to do business with you. Now:
- Scratch out the steps that you can save them.
- Put an asterisk next to each step that you would want to be reminded of—IN THEIR SHOES.
If you've cut out more than a couple of steps for answer #1, you'll likely have to assign the work to someone and kick off some projects.
But each asterisk for #2 is easy—don't let anyone tell you otherwise. How soon can you make that happen?
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