We are constantly told that the customer has one thing more than ever before.. CHOICE, but why is it that a lot of businesses are ignoring the signs and still treating their current and potential customers with contempt?
It seems these days that there is a mentality of “burn and churn” with a lot of businesses as trying to retain their customers is an afterthought. With the amount of competition in the marketplace, one would assume ensuring that we are looking after our customers would be paramount but sadly that doesn’t seem to be the case. Customers these days are constantly looking to change where they spend their money due to not getting the service they desire.
At a recent staff training day for a large corporate client, I asked a question which seem to have a lot of answers but to be honest the answers were to stock standard surface answer.
The question was…. Why would your company be the first choice for a customer?
Now the answers were, “because we are good”, “because we are cheaper than our competitors”, “because we have a good marketing plan” and so it went on.
Whilst all of that may be somewhat important to the customer, in reality, most times all of that will not even matter if the customers needs are not being met when there is an interaction and touch point.
Below are 6 areas that customers these days are craving. If we do not provide at least some of these, what we have done is facilitated a sense or need to “change” within our customers.
we need to ensure we are their number one C.H.O.I.C.E
Your customers / clients want to have a consistent experience every time they deal with your business. If they are getting great service one time and then no service experience the next, then that will ensure they start looking elsewhere. Delivering consistent service has to be a deliberate action. You cannot just “hope” that your staff will make sure this will happen. It has to be part of your company’s culture. It needs to be imbedded.
People not only buy into the product or service that you are selling, they also and more importantly buy into people. That is why we all need to ensure that there is a “heart aspect to how we treat our customers. We all have experiences every day, every week, where we just get treated like a number. It is when we get treated like a valued asset to a business is when that resonates with us and we have a sense of loyalty to that business. Your staff play a major role in the customers experience. Their interactions need to be meaningful and not just robotic. That is why online shopping is increasing. If we are not going to get a great heartfelt experience face to face, we may as well go on line and shop. It has become the exact same experience!
It would be an interesting experience if some businesses actually tried the processes that they expect their customers to go through. Common sense seems to be gone these days. We all need to own the processes our customers go through. It needs to be easy and simple. Your customers want to know that whatever experiences you are going to give them, good or bad, have been tried and tested by you. There does seem these day a lot of untested procedures being thrusted upon the consumer. How often do you or your staff experience what you are selling from a customers perspective?
Personality sells yet it is hard to find when dealing with a lot of businesses these days. There is this “cookie cutter” approach that makes no sense whatsoever. Yes, I understand that there are ways to ensure the same level of service is being applied to each customer, but it does seem that we have taken the human aspect out of things by trying to ensure everything is “uniform”.
A few years back, there was this one worker at Thornleigh McDonalds drive through. He used to be on really early in the morning. Now no matter how tired or crappy you felt, when you got to his window, he made sure you left smiling. HE WAS MEMERABLE!
Are your staff being remembered for the right reasons?
Your customers are desperate for your staff to know what they are doing. I recently had to buy a new Microwave, as I blew ours up. Now I have no idea about what would be a good, or bad microwave. I did a bit of Google research but that was about it. I went to a major retailer and asked for the person in that department. I was introduced to (and I am serious) “the most sought-after microwave sales person”. Well yeeha, I was now in great hands. Ummm no! after asking a few questions, the sales person read the side of the box out to me to give me the answers. Now I could have done that. I was after someone with more knowledge than me.
This seems to be a bit of an issue these days. Recently for a retail client, we were asked to survey random customers for their stores. The client wanted to know, what was their biggest frustration the customers had. 78% of people stated that lack of product knowledge was their biggest issue. Lack of product knowledge is a great way to lose customers to your competition.
If you want to ensure that your business is the number one choice for your customers and not the reason they are searching for a change, make sure you engage with them. have fun with them, get to know them a little. Sure, you may only have a short time with them each time, but you never get a second chance at a first impression. You want your customers raving about your business in a positive way. That can be easily achieved by good old fashion conversation.
We all want to be the first and only choice not only for our current customers but future ones as well. That is why we all need to ensure all aspects of our business are in line with the bigger picture. Your customers are screaming out for amazing experiences. Just make sure you give them some.
Justin Herald is the Managing Director of Customer Culture, a customer service and sales training company with clients around Australia and overseas. He is the Author of 8 International Best Selling books and speaks at over 80 conferences each year.
(C) Justin Herald 2018