Many enterprises focus on new business from new customers. Whilst this is important, sometimes current customers can be ignored.
Typically, it costs five times as much to acquire a new customer, as it does to sell your product or service to an existing customer.
Wherever I go, I’m always amazed by customer service, or usually the lack of it. I’m sure that you’ve had that feeling.
One of the best ways to build any business, is to focus on your customers.
* How much do you know about your customers?
* What irritates them about your business / industry?
* What do they like about your enterprise?
Exceptional customer orientated companies understand customer service.
It’s all about being human and being people focused.
This translates as:
* Listening skills (easy to talk about – not so easy to do, day-in, day-out).
* A ‘You, You, You’ focus (as opposed to me, me, me).
* Attention to detail.
* Always following up.
* Admitting mistakes and then sorting them out.
Why do large companies spend so much on Customer Care programmes?
Perhaps it’s because they have worked out the Lifetime Value of a customer.
Try working this out in your case i.e. the average sale price multiplied by the number of times they buy in a year, multiplied by the number of years they stay with you.
The final number can be huge.
It gets better if you factor-in how may times the average happy customer will recommend you.
Most research states that the number here is in the 12 – 15 range i.e. the happy customer tells about a dozen people.
However, unhappy customers typically tell about twice that number of people about their bad experience.
You may never know about this, until you go out of business.
Another factor is that great service is a differentiator for any enterprise.
Goodwill is something that the competition can’t steal from you, unless you let them.
At the end of the day, whatever your customers feel about you, will decide whether you win or lose.