“Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create raving fans.”Ken Blanchard
Customers are an integral part of any businesses success but with the advance of technology many businesses have appeared to have forgotten how to connect and retain the main reason for their existence, yes, the humble customer.
If you are serious about having a successful and sustainable business perhaps you would like to adopt the following concepts?
1. Always treat customers as you would like to be treated.
- When the boot is on the other foot, and you are the customer instead of the supplier, ask yourself how do you like to be treated?
- Notice how your suppliers service you. Is it a positive and memorable experience or are you just another unimportant number?
Before Covid, one of my long term suppliers knew I was flying up to Brisbane for a conference. The owner picked me up from the airport, we had lunch out with his staff, and then he dropped me back to my hotel. How important do you think I felt? How many people did I tell about how well I was looked after? Remember customers are VIP’s, Very Important Persons!
2. Build a customer focused organization.
Customers like to know that you care, and that your organization is purely focused on them. This is a critical part of any leaders role, to demonstrate from the top of the company, how to treat customers the right way and enforcing heavy penalties for any staff that breach the loving the customer code.
Customer focused companies invest in excellent customer service training. They encourage their staff to resolve customer issues and empower them to go above and beyond, to not just satisfy a customer’s needs, but to over achieve the clients expectations.
3. Create an ultimate experience.
Design something that keeps them coming back. As Ken Blanchard suggests, turn them into raving fans who will then spread the word about how fantastic you and your organization are.
You are only limited by your imagination as to how you can creates unique customer experiences which will give you an amazing competitive advantage over your competitors.
For example, if I owned a Menswear retail outlet, I would have a VIP package, where I would pick up the customer in a limousine with champagne and snacks and we would provide a personalized shopping experience for two hours.
Of course there would be a minimum spend but the marketing power alone from providing such an amazing experience would bring in many new high net worth customers.
4. Set high standards of customer service.
Simply doing what you say you going to do, delivering on time, cleaning up after completion of a job, or just returning phone calls, will set the customer service benchmark well above what your competitors are providing. Customers will keep coming back and they will spread the word.
5. Be a problem solver.
Customers are usually looking for a solution to an issue or pain point and if you can provide that at a fair price you will have a happy and satisfied customer. Train and empower your staff to use their initiative to meet the client’s needs if it is within the scope of the organization to do so.
The interaction between staff and customers at the front-line, provides valuable information that can be used for the future strategic directions of the organization.
Customers will let you know when their needs change, what your competition is offering, and suggest potentially new products for development or new markets to explore.
Encourage staff to be innovative and creative in uncovering and resolving customers issues.
I know, I know, It is obvious isn’t it? Just smile.
Having a genuine wonderful smile makes so much of a difference especially in hospitality and retail. Yet, so many grumpy business owners or staff interact badly with customers on a daily basis.
These same people complain about how tough business is, and how badly behaved or rude customers are. If you are not happy in your current role or the type of business you manage or own then go and do something else.
Don’t take it out on customers. If you truly wish to connect with a customer you simply smile.
Be known for friendly, helpful, and reliable service and SMILE!
In conclusion, customers have so many options now regardless of what industry you are in.
You have to ensure your organization is customer service focused, providing exceptional customer service to all customers.
Love and care for your customers and they will support, love, care, and rave about you!