Do you wonder how to get more sales by getting your customers or patients to come back, spend more, and refer their friends?

Here are “The 7 Places You Might Be Losing Sales”

Review them with your team, implement changes and diligently monitor how your business or practice is doing on these key points of customer experience. One general area you can improve, without spending lots of money, is in your customer, patient or client experience.

1.  Craft an engaging first connection.
Customer service starts with the first interaction between your prospect and your business.

Instead of “Can I help you?,” pay the business visitor or customer a compliment to start the conversation. Then move toward what they need or want and how your products and services benefit.

What is the first impression from your website’s homepage or landing page? Do visitors know what you want them to do? If it’s not clear from the first second, they’ll bounce and about 90% will never return.

How is your first interaction with prospects, new customers or patients? Create a memorable first connection and pay obsessive attention to how it’s working.

2. Make a positive, memorable impression outside your business or practice, and inside.
In person, or online, you have one chance to impress and make it last.

Does your prospect, customer or patient see, hear or experience . . .
– trash on the parking lot and easement,
– cigarette butts on the sidewalks,
– neglected plants and landscaping,
– an attractive contemporary website that is easy to use on a smartphone,
– a friendly, warm personality answering the phone and greeting inside,
– stale email subject lines “This Week at …,”
– robotic “thank you for your kind words” response to every review,
– a greeting that’s way too laid back or harried and overwhelmed,
– clear signage about parking limitations or what to do when they enter your front door
or visit your site?

Have a “mystery shopper” evaluate your business or practice because
you and your employees are too close to notice the problems.
Make improvements, not excuses.

3. Reduce the wait time.

Customers often have to wait for restaurant seating, appointments to start, getting an estimate for services. If there’s a wait, keep people well-informed.

How many times have you waited without hearing a word until it’s your turn? It’s not fun.

Provide an interactive contest to win something fabulous. Give a “Free with Next Purchase” virtual gift certificate via text or email (so you have their updated contact info!) to make-up for their lost time.

Of course, evaluate why there’s such a long wait. Shorten or eliminate the bottleneck. Focus on how to make it best for the customers or patients.

4.  Can the patient, customer or prospect reach you (or a live person) when they need you most?

Leaving your patients or customers without a way to reach you or a live person is frustrating to them and costs you sales. If it’s Sunday afternoon and a patient needs to cancel or reschedule a Monday morning appointment, voice mail is not going to work.

If there’s been a huge storm with power outages or wind damage, make your business the one that a prospect talks to a live person for appointment-setting and 24/7/almost 365 solutions. You can leap over competitors and pick up more sales with this one customer service tip! You don’t have to hire a new staffer to get this done. Outsource it.

5. Make sure every interaction includes an unexpected, wonderful memory.
If you’re in car repair are you vacuuming the visible front floor? Using paper mats to protect carpet and seats?

We set up free cookies from a bakery for dental patient birthdays and free coffee from the same place just because the patient came in for their appointment. Patients loved it!

Look around, there are neighboring businesses who might provide your
“wonderful memory” at no cost or low cost to you so they get introduced to your customers.

6. When something goes wrong, and it will, sincerely apologize and make it right in the customer’s eyes.
Prepare your team for these instances. Make sure they have the authority to make things right before the customer leaves your business.
Remember, apologies do not ever start with or include: “if . . .”.
Your business did do whatever the customer perceives you did (yes, because your customer thinks so and is telling everyone they know) so just start with, “I understand what you are saying. We are so sorry for the inconvenience we caused you.”

Ask the customer “How can we make this better for you?” And then listen.

They will tell you what they expect. Then do that for them in a nice, gracious way.
Writing off a $20 or $200 transaction helps you contain the damage to your reputation and gives you a
chance to retain the customer, and their friends.

7. If a team member is named in more than one bad review, make changes.
Provide additional training, monitor future interactions (record the inbound calls),
and/or switch roles to match the best skills with the key functions.

Just because your experience with the employee is great does not mean they
handle customer and patient interactions with grace and finesse. Don’t be afraid to make changes that help your business grow.

Tackle one of these issues per week for the next 7 weeks.

You’ll start seeing higher conversions, repeat sales and referrals, and increased social media engagement
— and get more sales — after you improve the customer service in your business, law office or health practice.