Mar.11 | The Customer Is Always… What?
By Todd Duncan
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The truism goes, “The customer is always right!” But I marvel at the paradox of much of today’s customer service. Every business needs customers to survive, yet most employees fail to understand that their paycheck and long-term job security are related to customer relationships—how customers feel about the employees’ interaction with them.
Have you ever erupted into a storm of defensiveness when a customer did not give you the feedback you desired? Do you completely reject any “negative” view of your performance? If you answered “yes” to either question, then perhaps I can provide some insight that may help you close this gap.
You cannot afford to lose customers. Here are the top four strategies for building customer loyalty:
Strategy 1: Lifetime Customer
A customer can have a lifetime worth of $300,000 to a car dealership. Someone who buys food from a grocery store can have a lifetime value of over $350,000 to the grocer. How much are your customers worth to you?
Strategy 2: Underpromise; Overdeliver
Customers keep coming back when they know you will exceed their expectations. Here’s the rule: give it to them faster and for less money than they expected. Add true value. Most businesses do it backwards: they promise fast service but deliver slow and quote less but charge more.
Strategy 3: Before They Pay, Survey
Do not wait until your buyers have made their purchases to ask how you did. That’s too late. Ask them before they buy. If there are any issues you have overlooked, you can fix them before finalizing the bill.
Strategy 4: When They're Mad, Make Them Happy
When your performance delivers less than a customer expects, do something about it—recover. Companies must train and empower their employees to recover customers, and when they do, the customer will return... again and again.
“You can shear a sheep for many years, but you may skin it only once.”
© Todd Duncan 2013 | All Rights Reserved