What buyers really want is a predictable experience. It takes teamwork to build loyal repeat customers. If you measure the different kinds of breakdowns that occur within a company, you will find most happen due to internal-external communication breakdown. This affects the customer in a host of ways. In order to exceed a customer’s expectations, you must focus everyone on producing successes. Your TEAM needs to be alignment from the first phone call through the ‘thank you’ we appreciate your business.
Having to fix problems is not only expensive, it also destroys trust. Customers buy from you because they expect you can deliver as promised. When that fails to happen, customers start looking more carefully, at what they have bought and become more critical of any flaws they find. It is imperative that operations people understand the importance of building customer loyalty through predictability. TEAM members must know how critically customers look at poor service delivery. Do work twice costs company’s client relationships and ultimately erodes your profits.
Here’s 6 Tips to Keep Them Coming Back…
One of the keys to maintaining a thriving business is a steady customer base. A successful company typically sees 80 percent of its business come from 20 percent of its customers.
1- Build customer loyalty through teamwork. Get people who produce what your company promises out into the field. Help them better understand what customers expect and the conditions under which customers use your company’s products or services. Ask people who sell for your company to do a tour of duty in operations, to get their hands dirty producing goods or services to match customer orders. Ask them to help solve problems so they have a deeper appreciation for the constraints under which people in operations do their work.
2- Track results and look for opportunities to improve. By getting sales and operations staff together to discuss what to do. Set standards for error rate, breakdowns and missed delivery dates. Ask both sides of the aisle, sales and operations, to discuss and agree upon the yardstick to be used for measuring client success.
3- Encourage progress by celebrating successes. Regardless of who on the team produced them. Whether it is improved profits from sales, reduced production costs from operations, or increased customer loyalty through faster, more accurate, less error-prone delivery, everyone wins. Make sure everyone sees it that way – a team success.
4- Open up lines of communication between your company and its customers.Ask customers to participate in recognizing your team’s heroes and heroines. Have a formal introduction process in place for new customers, telling them who to go to when they need help. Get critical feedback immediately by having customer service report directly to the top of the organization.
5- Ask operations staff to provide technical expertise that salespeople may not possess. Strengthen the quality of your company’s sales and reduce the problems that result by combining resources before a sale is completed.
6- When making a promise to a customer, ask people to double and triple the time they think it will take and resist the temptation to over-promise. If the customer really and truly needs a product or service sooner, go back and work through the production schedule. Check that another customer won’t get bumped.
In the end; be smart enough to know when it is necessary to say “no” to a sales opportunity because your team can’t meet the delivery timeline or the quality the customer demanded.
How do you deliver exceptional customer service? Share your thoughts…
Steven Cohen, Principal of GreenMark Consulting Group is a business management and operations consultant, mentor and coach with more than twenty-five years of landscape/snow industry experience. Steven has an extensive background in managing cross-functional business operations, business strategy and market growth projects. He prides himself as being both an analytical and a conceptual thinker who effectively partners with business owners to assess opportunities, facilitate strategic decisions, and drive successful implementations. GreenMark Consulting Group specializes in helping growth-oriented companies see through challenges and map out operational and growth strategies.