Focus on Sales but Think Customers
Focusing on customers is an essential factor and as important if not more so than other factors. Either you are in the selling of products or services business. There was a slogan that I remember when I was a little girl in Vietnam “Customer is King!” I did not understand then what this meant but it made full sense to me later when I became emerged in the business world. Without customers, the business cannot survive. The same as “Cash flow is King or Queen!”, said Steven Rogers in Entrepreneurial Finance. Without cash, the business cannot keep going and grow.
I believe in “your business is successful because you create and maintain happy customers.” Most customers may not expect your customer service to be perfect but they do expect you to care. For example, if they complain or bring up an issue and see you help them to resolve problem quickly and effectively. These customers may end up more loyal to your company than they were before. Take this opportunity to build your business from these “problematic or very difficult customers.” They will sing your praises if you show them the respect that they hoped for.
Research shows that most companies after they settled down, tends not to look out for the customer’s best interest. They focus more on sales and listen less to the customers. This can be a downfall or a large setback for some businesses.
With Social Media, any unhappy customers can give your business a bad review. Think about when your competitor that is offering the same product but delivered a better customer service experience. The consumer base can all change no matter how big your company is. If you don’t take care of your customers, you will lose them.
Only the customers and prospective customers can help you understand how to improve the product and service in what matter most to them, and they can explain why they made the choice to buy your product or service.
So, how to create a connection and to improve your business? How to make them share the experience with your company? You may try some strategies below:
- Using customer satisfaction surveys: It is not easy to ask directly if they are happy with your product or service. However, you can get their feedback though customer satisfaction surveys. These surveys can help reveal the needed attentions and at the same time can illuminate the positives.
- Speaking with customers one-on-one or as a group: Personal engagement helps us better understand the survey’s results and to comprehend the emotion behind the answers. Take advantage of this approach to strengthen the relationship. Building customer trust through caring.
- Comment/survey cards at the stores: Encourage customers directly and boost participation by offering discounts or prizes. Let customers know their opinion maters to help you better serve their needs in the future.
- Make sure the survey should take less than 5 minutes to fill out.
- Respect customer’s time. Should have ONLY questions that directly tie with your company’s objective to be able to produce productive feedback. Some questions such as “Rate how you feel about the quality of services” or “Which of the following services do you value most?” etc.
- Follow up and take action. Make positive changes to some strategies or individuals. Customers want to see their feedback is valued and implemented. On the other hand, employees are more likely to accept a change if they understand why customers are suggesting a change.
Remember, your customer’s loyalty is a choice. If they come back for repeating business is because they want to, not because they have to.
Rogers, Stevenson (2014). Entrepreneurial Finance, Third Edition: Finance and Business Strategies for the Serious Entrepreneur. McGraw-Hill Education.