How to please your rental customers in an instant feedback world
Doing business in a world dominated by social media and self-interest, it can feel impossible to meet the demands of your rental customers who have specific needs.
Unhappy customers can voice their complaints online within seconds, causing damage to your brand before it can generate momentum. That contractor who came into your rental store to pick up a Bobcat skid loader he reserved, only to find out the only one you had in stock was out of service, has the power of the tweet to vent his frustrations.
Can your Rental store adapt to the ever-changing needs of its consumers? Here are a few ideas to consider while evolving your rental business to thrive in today’s survival-of-the-fittest business arena:
Treat your rental customers as partners, and they will provide the input you need to flourish.
- First and foremost: Know your rental customer. For example, If you rent to contractors, it is important to learn everything you can about the construction industry to ensure you have a detailed understanding of the thought processes of your customer.
- Find a way to encourage feedback from your customers no matter what stage of business partnership they’re in. Reach out to customers who have stopped doing business with you. Find out where your services fell short and gain an intimate understanding of your failures.
- Always address any complaints quickly and make it right for your customer. Especially if the complaint is online. Monitor your social media to protect your brand with tools such as Microsoft Social Engagement. Microsoft Social Engagement provides insight into how people are talking about your company, brands, product and campaigns by placing Social Engagement widgets on your company or campaign pages to keep an eye on social media reactions.
- It is important to use your own products and gain the knowledge that only comes from experience. Real-world experience increases your understanding and helps you quickly address problems that irritate your end user. Taking the time to do this will make your support team more credible and respected.
- Put yourself in your rental customer’s shoes to gain an understanding of what they go through. Identify the shortcomings of your customer service process. There is always room for improvement.
Develop strategies that serve your customer’s needs.
- Today’s customers love having a choice. However, be careful, too many choices can deliver a frustrating experience. The more concise you are with the services and products your rental company provides, the easier it will be for the customer to tailor them to their needs. Figure out the ideal ratio of choice versus purchase.
- Market studies have proven that even if more people sample your product when you have upwards of 25 choices, more people will make a purchase when that number is between 3 and 5. It is overwhelming to have too many options, but you also have to consider lost revenue opportunities for not providing enough choices.
- It is all about balance. Properly categorize how you can help the customer and make it easy for them to find what they need. Their testimony of satisfaction will bring you more business.
Ensure customer longevity and loyalty.
- Give rental customers an incentive to do repeat business with you. Offer benefits that are exclusive to those with a membership. Consider all lines of communication to offer your promotions. Figure out what products or services can be used as a complimentary benefit to up-sell the customer. Give a sense of urgency with limited time rewards. Keep it interesting with random drawings. Place messages that motivate the customer to take action.
- Include referral benefits that reward both your current customers and new customers. Offering discounts, credits, and cash bonuses are not always the best motivator for referring your business. When someone refers your services, it is because he or she genuinely want to help someone. Make sure it is beneficial for someone to want to spread the word about your business: the rewards he or she gets have to match or exceed the effort they put into trying to refer you to their partner businesses and friends.
Do you have any good examples of how you handled difficult customer feedback? Share in the comments below.