Why you have to care for your customers
The basic truth is, to be successful in sales you need to be a Jack of all trades and a Master of looking after your customers, else, you will realise that, other outlet will take your customers away from you. So there is a HUGE financial link between high levels of customer satisfaction and the bottom line of a company.
For example, if a company eliminates just four representatives in a call center of about 36 agents (that’s about a 10% layoff), the number of customers put on hold for four minutes will increase from 0 to 80.
Understand the following and work on the lapses if you are on this table:
- 90% of customers dissatisfied with the service they receive will not come back or buy again.
- Only 4% of unhappy customers bother to complain. For every complaint we hear, however, 24 others go un-communicated to the company. Imagine that. So, in theory, if you have 10 complaints in a month, that means that potentially 240 customers also have complaints but just didn’t share them with you. But they did share them with others…
- Unhappy customers tell his or her story to at least nine other people. That’s not the “word of mouth” you want about your organization. And with today’s social media, I think the number is growing.
- Of the customers who register a complaint, between 54-70% will do business again with the organization if the complaint is resolved. That number goes up to 95% if the customer feels the complaint was resolved quickly. This is commonly referred to as “service recovery”: we all make mistakes, but it’s how quickly and thoroughly a company resolves those mistakes that determines whether a customer will remain loyal and engaged.
- 68% of customers who quit doing business with an organization do so because of company indifference. In other words, if you don’t respond and/or resolve a customer-related issue, your customers perceive that as not caring about their business. And it takes 12 positive incidents to make up for one negative incident in the eyes of customers.
The following are the possible way out:
- Develop listening and learning approaches to capture the voice of the customer. We need a way to hear – and understand – their needs, expectations, and requirements, not just of the products and services they are buying but how they prefer to buy them…the whole customer experience pre-, during, and post-sale.
- Consider the touchpoints you have with your customers – the phone calls, the face-to-face interactions, the emails, and so forth. And then proactively think about how you can create positive interactions – experiences that satisfy or exceed customers’ expectations. Consider doing this in a team or department meeting to get everyone on the same page and exchange ideas for better service touchpoints.
- Identify processes that touch the customer – ordering processes, inquiry processes (like call/contact centers and your website), complaint and suggestion processes, physical space (your lobby, your “store”), and certainly service/product delivery processes – and ensure that each of these customer-facing processes is designed to ensure more service “deposits” than “withdrawals.” Then,
- Focus on your workers: train your staff to ensure that they have the skills and tools necessary to serve customers, internal and external. Cross-train employees so they can step up to fill a variety of needs, which also gives you capacity and flexibility in your staffing model.
- Reward staff for their good customer service (and for service recovery).
These tips don’t only apply to retail, service-oriented businesses. They apply to manufacturers, schools, healthcare providers, non-profit and governmental agencies. Remember, 90% of dissatisfied customers won’t come back: so there is a huge financial return for those organizations which truly focus on customers rather than just talk about customer service.