We all know the age-old adage "The Customer is King", but what does that mean for your business.
Firstly, We know that customers may not always be right. However, customers form perceptions that become their reality. It is your role to make sure that you manage your customer's perceptions so that they are as close to reality as possible.
Think of your situations, when you have a great experience with a product or service, you may tell people about it and sometimes only if they ask, yet when you have a horrible experience you want to ensure everyone knows. Always remember good news travels fast but bad news travels faster. It is, therefore, your responsibility to make sure your customer is satisfied. You may get it wrong at times, but how you handle this will define how your customer will feel about your business and determine whether they will come back or not as well as what they will say about you.
We are often too nervous to ask customers for feedback for fear of hearing things we do not want to hear. I can't tell you how many times I have eaten out and have seen how a manager will come up to the table smile and ask "is everything ok", but seldom do they really want to hear your feedback if something is wrong. I have personally seen managers ignore or cringe if someone gives them feedback or an answer other thank, "yes thank you".
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, so it is so vital that you keep them happy. Listen to what they have to say. Ask for suggestions on how to improve things, get them to help you become better in what you do.
Now history has taught us that there have been good and bad kings, the same applies to customers. I am not one to suggest you get rid of customers. We know it costs far more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an old one. However, at time it may be necessary to fire a customer. If you are not able to satisfy their requirements or if they are unnecessarily disruptive, all you are going to do is frustrate them more and add fuel to the fire, so rather as nicely as possible, suggest they walk away.
A customer relationship is a two-way path they are paying for a product or service, and in return, you need to deliver. They want to feel valued. Therefore make sure you deliver on your promise and take responsibility with corrective action when you don't. Say thank you and always let all your customers know that you are grateful that you have them in your business.
On a final note, remember treating your customers as King needs to spread across the entire business. So steer away from making it the sales teams responsibility, and put a plan together for all staff to focus on making the Customer Your King.
Contact Coach Sonja Shear for fresh perspectives on how to grow your customer base and in turn your business.