Legitimize Your Stable: Management and Business Series | Customer Service

Previously, we explored how professionalism can aid in legitimizing your stable. Closely related to professionalism is customer service, a critical aspect of every business. Customer service, or lack thereof, can make or break your company’s reputation. One bad experience can be enough to drive away potential customers to your business, or the entire community, forever.

Industry experts report one of the main reasons that parents remove their kids from participating in equestrian sports is the poor customer service they receive. Examples include, but are not limited to inaccurate invoicing, poor communication, scheduling problems, and lack of empathy for how these issues affect the customer.

Customer reviews, customer feedback, and customer complaints are not necessarily negative. They’re opportunities; opportunities to improve the way you serve your customers. Being able to identify your weaknesses is a strength. The real challenge is implementing changes to improve your customers’ experiences. Here are a few methods that can help you determine what your customers think of your horse stable.

Customer Surveys

Surveys have been the oldest and most effective way businesses receive feedback from their employees and customers. We encourage stable owners to survey their customers at least once a year, preferably more.

Surveying will help you identify improvements, what to focus on regarding the services you offer, and what your customers’ needs are. Surveys empower and give a voice to your customers and make them feel more valued. Be sure to include a meaningful reward or a prize draw for participation in the survey.

Follow-Ups and Gentle Reminders

Following up with your customers is incredibly important. Following up on schedules, tasks, and payments make a great impression to customers. Most industries today are excellent at this because it has been proven to increase customer retention and customer satisfaction.

Follow-ups are critical to use after your stable management business implements changes. A quick email to inform your customers of the changes and ask them how they are finding it makes a great impression. Follow-ups are a great way to identify unhappy customers and allow you to take the necessary steps to satisfy them before they decide to leave.

Exit Reviews

Having a customer leaving your stable happens to the best of us. However, one thing every stable owner should do when losing a customer is to have them complete an exit review. Many are probably hesitant about this suggestion, as you may be under the impression that an unhappy customer leaving your stable wouldn’t want to provide you feedback. However, upset customers leaving an organization are going to be more honest and tend to be happy to vent.

Exit reviews from unhappy customers can provide valuable feedback that can help you avoid losing more customers in the future. You should not necessarily act on everything that comes up in an exit review, but reflect on every point.

Ask yourself, “is what the customer saying true? Does my company lack in these areas?” Based on your honest evaluation, prioritize, and implement changes. Internal assessments are always hard and very few like to admit they make such mistakes, but it is necessary for business growth.

How to Implement Better Customer Service

Conducting surveys and getting customers to review your services and performance sounds like a lot of work. You’re right; it can be time-consuming. But in the modern world, these strategies are proven to be cost and time efficient; ‘not having enough time’ is no longer a valid excuse.

Stable management software, such as Stablebuzz, allows you to easily create surveys on your computer, phone, or tablet and send them to your customers. Creating a survey with modern systems takes only five to thirty minutes. You can then send it to your customers with only a few clicks.

In summary

Stay in constant communication to better serve your customers and know what their needs are; this includes timely follow-ups, reminders, and reviews (positive and negative).

Without the use of modern tools, your business can fall behind. Remember that your barn is not only competing against other barns but all other activities. Customers will go to organizations where they feel more valued and better serviced. Neglecting good customer service practices will hurt your business, and we don’t want to see any equestrian stables go out of business.

Take that leap with Stablebuzz so that together we can preserve and grow the equestrian community for future generations.