In This Economy, How Are You Retaining Customers?
Austin, Texas: Last week, while dealing with one of my best vendors, they dropped the ball on an order.
OK. Nobody is perfect. Mistakes happen.
When I called them to discuss the displeasure that my client felt about missing an in-hands date, the vendor was very cavalier and said they’d try to do better next time. They also said that my client should not overblow the situation, no big deal.
No big deal?!?! Well, it is now that I am looking for an alternative vendor to service my clients.
A vendor’s reputation is made or lost when things go bad. Not when things go good.
Everybody looks like a hero when things are rosy. But how does your company respond when things don’t work out as promised or as planned? That is the true measure of any organization.
Especially in these days of economic uncertainty, more attention needs to be spent on customer service than ever before.
Unfortunately, customer service is often viewed by companies as a cost–as a liability.
Customer service can often be the difference between your company and your competition.
Think it doesn’t show up on the bottom line? Think again.
Our company was recently awarded a bid in the mid six-figures where we were not even close to being the lowest price. The client had used our services in the past and told me that past performance was the deciding factor.
Past performance: Quality products/services plus good customer service. You need them both to be successful.
Now is not the time to fall behind on improving the entire customer experience.
You can pay lip service to customer loyalty, frequent customer programs and customer retention programs, but actions speak louder than words.
- Are you pro-actively searching for areas of customer improvement?
- Are you looking for ways to stay “top-of-mind” to your customers?
- Is your follow up second to none?
- When you say you’ll get back to your clients, do you? Every time? When you say you will?
- Do you under-promise and over-deliver?
- Are you value-adding your product/services?
- Have you told your customers how much you appreciate their business?
- When was the last time you thanked your customer?
Remember, your best customers are you competitors top prospects. Keep them.
A customer saved is better than a new customer. They are more likely to remain loyal and more likely to refer you.
What are you going to do to retain your customers?