Fanatical about feedback

There’s nothing wrong with being crazy about customer surveys.

  • July 26, 2012
  • Lee Chilcote

According to Dick Bare of Arbor-Nomics Turf in Atlanta, the key to winning a 97 percent customer satisfaction rate is going above and beyond to meet client expectations.

That includes surfing business recommendation websites such as Angie’s List where customer reviews might appear and working obsessively to address negative reviews.

“We’re fanatical about reading and reacting to them every day,” says Bare. “I’ve gone out and spent hours with someone on a Saturday who wasn’t even our customer yet. They didn’t like the way the technician did the survey, and so I tried to address it.”

Bare says it’s critical for businesses to examine such surveys because that’s how many customers choose lawn and landscape companies these days. Negative reviews are not set in stone, he says, and can be addressed and changed with proper follow up.

“The people who write in are really fabulous; I wish there were more of them,” he says. “They help us to identify things that might not be working about our businesses.”

Bare is always astounded by the number of owners who never talk to their customers or ask for feedback. If they did, Bare says, they might be surprised at what they found out.

Above all, he counsels other business owners to always provide good value for their customers. That’s what people want, especially during a national recession, he says.

Finally, he tells small business owners to talk to people they admire. “Even if you’re small, go talk to the big guys,” he says. “They’ll give you all kinds of incredible free advice.”



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