There cannot be many people who have not seen such scary statements as:
- An organisation, on average, loses 50% of its customers every 5 years
- 68% of customers leave a company because of poor service
- It costs 5 times more to attract a new client as to retain an existing one
Well “Goodbye customer, hello higher marketing costs.”
Any company that is just measuring satisfaction levels is deluding themselves. Satisfied customers are not loyal customers. Satisfied customers are getting what they expected. If they expect mediocre service and receive it then they will be satisfied. If they find someone else who can give them what they expect for a cheaper price they will be gone.
But what if they could find someone else who was delivering a higher level of service for the same price what would their choice be then?
My own experience, and research, suggests they would choose the latter. Surprising as it might be, price is often not the main reason for selecting a company – trust is.
Trust though has to be earned. It is no quick fix, but it is worth the investment. Over time, loyal customers will buy more from you and it will cost you less to serve them. What’s more these repeat customers will refer others to your company and they’ll often pay a premium to stay with you because they know and trust you.
Your customers are being overwhelmed with information every waking moment of their day, there is only one sure-fire way of getting their attention and that’s to touch them emotionally.
It is often written (but in my experience rarely understood) that it is no longer enough to satisfy your customers you have to delight them if you want them coming back for more.
Whether you are a sole-trader, a partnership or a private limited company, you don’t need me to tell you that, whatever your industry, you are operating in a highly competitive marketplace. What you do today, your competitor will be doing tomorrow; probably more cheaply.
Your profit margin is under pressure at every turn.
The chances are that in order to grow your business you are chasing new customers by whatever means you can think of: web site, advertising, direct mail etc. But do you feel as though you’re pushing water uphill?
The problem with these traditional approaches is that everyone is doing it. All your competitors are shouting as loud, if not louder to attract your customer’s attention. “Pick me”, they are all screaming above the furore. Can you afford to shout the loudest? Even if you can, do you really want to be pouring your money into a deep well?
Now I am not saying these traditional marketing methods do not have a place in your plans but I am suggesting you use them selectively and only when you have something different to say. That way you will have a better chance of being heard.
A surprising number of businesses do not realise that by just doing one thing differently they could save money and increase profits. The key is to provide a customer service experience that is unique and outstanding and build your reputation, and brand, around it.
That’s it: as simple and as difficult as that. Once you have perfected it, price will cease to be a differentiator. You will attract new customers and more importantly you will keep the ones you already have.