Posts Tagged ‘customer retention’

Customer Loyalty So You Have It?

The 20th century business model focus was labor intensive. Creating satisfied customers was the goal.  However, the 21st century has changed the marketplace forever.

With the click of a mouse thanks to the dramatic impact of ever changing technology, your satisfied customer can leave and become easily satisfied by your competitor. What will you do then?  Continue the same practices, policies, and procedures through archaic customer service training?

Customer loyalty is truly about your bottom line.  Did you know that a 5% increase in customer retention can have a 25% to 100% in profits?

Take a moment to think about the impact of this figure to your bottom line. You already have satisfied customers.  By converting them, you save money by not acquiring new customers which is far more costly.

But the real power is that these loyal customers become your greatest marketers. They are singing your praises to everyone through Word of Mouth (WOM) advertising. And everyone in business knows that you cannot pay for a referral.

So what is keeping you from building loyal customers?  In many cases it may be your policies, procedures and customer service training.

For example, some organizations focus on timing the interactions between associates and customers.  Speed becomes the driver of the customer experience.  The customer cannot complain that the transaction took too long, but they will complain about being treated like a number, like an empty bag, like less than a human being. Have you ever had that experience?

Smarter salespeople are coming to realize that unresolved problems are keeping them from loyal customers.  If a customer has a problem and that problem is resolved to the satisfaction of the customer, repeat sales happens.  In other words, resolved problems create loyal customers who want to come back and spend or invest their dollars with you.

TAKE ACTION to think about your customers.  What can you do to build loyal customers?  If you do not have a customer loyalty strategic action plan, then construct one is where to begin.

And remember, the digital disruption will impact your customer loyalty strategies.

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Customer Experience is Core Being Customer Centric

Repeat customers who rave about your products or services (a.k.a. customer loyalty) is the pot of gold for any business.  However, far too many people fail to understand how to articulate the desired results and hence may initiate  strategies and tactics that fail to achieve those unclear results.

Take for instance customer loyalty. Much as been written about it and most of it is from the outside, the views of the business. What would happen if businesses would change their perspective and view if from the inside? Of course some would answer we do and yet I am not convinced given the consistent data about poor customer retention where most businesses lose 50% of their customers within 3 years.

A posting entitled Making Customer Loyalty Real referred to some earlier research in 1999 of global manufacturers conducted  by Deloitte. What is interesting to note is beyond the ability to adapt quicker to customer demands is a philosophy of attracting profitable customers and retaining them forever.This creates an almost self fulfilling loyalty prophecy.

To take such action means to leave product centered manufacturing approach and embrace a customer centric one.  Ford with its new cars are gearing to the needs of the younger generations through all the software applications such as IPod. Additionally, Start, one of Ford’s new concept cars is totally designed with the needs of the urban consumer. Do not presume by the name this is a low price entry car for it is not.

Bottom line this is being customer centric is about creating an incredible customer experience at all points of connection. However in many cases there are breaks or gaps in those connections which affect long term customer retention. One way to determine those gaps is to take a customer experience walk about your business both externally and internally. This walk answers this simple question – Are we easy to do business with? – or in other words what was the actual customer experience.  To do this requires using all five  senses sight, touch, hearing, tasting and  smelling. Additionally, incorporating the sense of feeling is also necessary.

When the experience is exceptional for truly qualified customers and existing ones, then you probably are a business that is customer centric. This will translate into higher profits because you have a lot more loyal raving fans who eagerly take action to  share their experiences with others.

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