Keeping them close to your heart and even closer to your profit line… well, not quite… But one will lead to the other…

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A satisfied customer is a loyal customer; one that receives exceptional customer service is even more loyal… we all know this from our own experiences. And we also know that whilst its important not to put all our metaphorical eggs in one basket that the cost of customer acquisition can far outweigh the cost of customer retention and the benefits that customer loyalty brings.

In every business there’s many touch points for a customer/potential customer whether the business is a one person business or a large corporate or anything else in between. It’s not just about whom/what the touch points are with (they could be with a person or a website) but the individual touch points that occur. But what about the whole customer journey…no matter what size of business when was the last time you looked at your customer’s journeys, end to end, including when no sale has been made?

How do you measure the experience they’re receiving to know if it’s good or bad? How much attention is being paid to the positive feedback? We often want to put right something that’s clearly not worked but what about analysing what is working? Do you follow up and find out more detail? Are the processes systemised so they are repeated time and again?

Here’s some tips to find out what’s really happening…

  • Ask some focused questions of why do we lose customers and at what stage in the process?
    • What can we do to prevent it happening or reduce the likelihood of it happening?
  • Why do we retain customers?
    • What can we do to learn from this and make the experience better for everyone?
  • Survey existing customers and ask for honest feedback
  • Pick up the phone and speak to people who decided not to buy; find out why, if there was something you could have done better?
  • Do an honest analysis of the life of the customer who has stopped buying from you and compare it to those who are still loyal customers. What was different, what could you change?
The answers may be surprising, they may be unpleasant to learn… don’t take it personally otherwise you won’t be open to learning and changing. As Michael Basch, FedEx says ‘systemise the process – personalise the exception’. In other words when things go wrong take the customer out of the process and give a personalised service.

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