If you get this critically important function right, you will have a business that continues to grow year on year. We all like to deal with companies that respect us, treat us fairly, offer good value for their product or service, and delight us with their standards. Yet, most companies continue to get it wrong, and in many cases give the impression that they just do not care. Is it because we are so focused on the wrong things that we let our standards drop? Have we forgotten to delight customers throughout our business with core values, recruitment, and training? Some have gotten this right, their figures confirming it, but many have not.
When you read that John Lewis has achieved great growth, does it surprise you? They have gotten this right and it is clear to see. They have tremendous core values. Their managers are supported and invested in as are their general staff who are also shareholders. Sixty managers have recently had hypnosis and NLP training, as they believe this will help their sales. This is different from other businesses as most are cutting training budgets and not investing in their people.
Let’s look at some ways you can start to get your customers smiling again.
Speak to your customers and take every opportunity to interact with them. Get to really understand what they expect and how you can delight them. Build up your data knowledge so you can really target your customers effectively. Always do a survey after completing a transaction.
What does your customer want?
By communicating, you will start to learn more about them. Ask them a number of questions that will help you establish exactly what they want, and tell them why you are doing it. Be transparent by telling them that you are asking so you can improve services. If you are upfront with your customers, they will more often than not be grateful as they see that you are trying to improve.
Normally the difference between a good and bad company is blindingly obvious. A bad company looks shabby when you walk in, as if they just don’t care. Its staff are miserable and in some cases rude, the meeting not as good as it could have been. On the other hand, a good company makes you feel welcome. Its staff are happy and engaging, and the meeting goes well. You generally feel as if you want to deal with them again.
Do you work your database? What is your % of repeat purchasers?
Your database is the key to your profit. If you delight your customers, and see how they want to be communicated with and when, you will sell more and more products. If people like dealing with your brand then they will buy anything from you. If you have a loyal database of customers and you have a limited product range then increase it. Big brands like Tesco sell a wider and wider range of products, so why not increase your product range as well?
Do the simple things right
Again, this sounds simple but few companies do it. If a customer asks you to call back within the hour then call them back within the hour. It is important that you manage customer expectations and fulfill those expectations at all times.
Do you like talking to a computer or a person?
I have mentioned this on a previous blog, which got responses from those saying certain technology is better than having a person at the end of the line. Although I see the point, I prefer to speak to a person. Soon human beings will be redundant and machines will be talking to machines. Is it not more pleasurable to deal with a happy and responsive human being who is there to delight you and satisfy your needs?
The fact that someone says you can be transferred to the wrong person is a different issue. I have experienced this with automated systems. The point is if you could speak to the right person who was a joy to deal with, and had some personality about them, this would leave you more satisfied.
So in summary, invest in your people, inspire them to deliver first class service, ensure that your organisation’s standards are exceptionally high and embedded so it becomes your culture. When it comes down to it, it’s all about doing the simple things right.
Having built and sold my SME, I now work with SMEs. I understand their model by embedding myself in the senior management team so I feel the heartbeat of the business. All areas are covered, but the four questions that we work on solving are: How do I grow my business?, How do I achieve client excellence?, How do I make more profit?, and Does my business model deliver?
If you would like to discuss this this article then either email email@example.com or phone 07976 846776