CUSTOMERSERVICEWe are all consumers. We have our favorite restaurants, body shops, gyms, clothing and even grocery stores. We expect and quite frankly, demand a certain level of customer service. If we do not experience it, we walk go someone who will.

What baffles me is that as business people we expect a certain level of service, but are we providing that same, or even better level of service in our own businesses? Recent surveys suggest we are not.

  • Only 4% of customers tell the business about their dissatisfaction. The other 96% simply go somewhere else. Of those, 91% will never return. Are you getting some idea of what happens to your bottom line if you do not treat customers properly?
  • Dissatisfied customers tell eight to ten others. It was discovered that one in five will tell twenty. Are these the kind of referrals you want?
  • Resolving issues on the spot, revealed that 95% will not only do business with you again but will tell an average of five people about the complaint and how it was satisfactorily taken care of. These are the referrals that you want.
  • It takes six to nine times more revenue and effort to attract new customers than it does to keep a loyal customer.
  • An attitude of indifference toward the customer by the owner, managers, or some employee is responsible for approximately 68% of customer loss. Can you afford that kind of loss?

In the 1980s a paradigm shift started to happen in that the power that the seller had was shifting to the buyer. Consumers become more aware, informed and educated and the demand of: “Give me what I want and how I want it and you have a deal.” Today has changed to: “If you give me what I want, how I want it, when I want it, at the lowest price, and make me feel special, I will then buy.”

It is a global shopping cart. A simple click of a mouse will get the consumer whatever they want and/or need. Everyone can make a call to a catalog center and have something delivered by the next day. Before we start doing the whole blame game and pointing fingers at each other; answer this question: “Are you not like everyone else demanding, price, quality, and speed?” Do you remember the days that you were only capable of picking two of the three?

You may be thinking: “There is no hope and we are all on the slippery slope to bankruptcy.” No, we are not. There is a simple three-step solution to not only increase your bottom line but to also get and keep loyal customers. These three steps are service, service, and in case you were wondering service.

There is evidence today of another shift where once again people are looking for a human interaction in the buying process. Not for everything, but definitely for some things.

In other words, we are not ridding on the downward side of the roller coaster heading towards a business abyss. We are once again, transforming the way business will be conducted.

How will you get there? By following the three steps above. What does that look like? Well, if you come back next week, I will be giving you some steps to take to make sure you keep loyal, happy, paying customers.

In a world where perception is the reality, it is critical to remember it is the customer’s perception that creates your reality.

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