Assume nothing! It’s pretty safe to say, the days of winning and then warehousing customers are gone forever. Sales and customer service departments are working harder than ever to please customers and thwart competitor advances.
In industry after industry the landscape may have shrunk but the players are stronger and sharper than ever.
Stapling a customer’s shoes to your carpet takes meeting higher expectations than last year. This year’s customers are empowered with greater amounts of information than last year’s. But, like the bane of every rock star in concert, his or her fans want “it” just like the last time, or better! That means you must consistently deliver not only a product or service, but on the expectation or vision the customer has for you [your brand].
Part Selling, Part Promise-Keeping
Every company today has at least one sharp competitor snapping at its heels and taking shots at its best customers. Buyers are open to ever-better solutions. They want what you want from your vendor representatives.
Most companies value existing customers all about the same, which is a big mistake.
Some old customers will stay out of habit. Newer ones come because they are looking for something different than what they had before. Once you make what you do for them their reality, and they are satisfied, it must only rise from there.
Assuring one’s client base now requires a heightened level of customer understanding and honest assessment of competitive opportunities. Veteran business leaders are familiar with the quote, “it’s easier to keep the customers you have than it is to find new ones.” Finding creative ways of instilling responsive customer service by everyone that touches the customer can have a profound effect on customer retention and sustaining the company’s future.
By taking an interest in the products and strategies, and understanding the industries their customers’ serve, sales people keep their adversaries at bay. And, we’ve seen big brands have raised the customer service bar in highly visible consumer products businesses especially where companies can template the actions, as in call centers, for banks and cell phone carriers.
Bringing that level of interest to your installers, receivables clerks and telephone receptionists is an across the enterprise undertaking well worth the effort. Keeping your company in a favorable light throughout the “purchase experience” and every time thereafter, is critical to keeping customers and having them tell others. Pleasant customer service, strong on-site protocols, and rapid response are highly visible, easily measured, and, can be implemented almost immediately.