When a customer ceases to be a customer, they will most likely not tell you – you find out when they have already joined the competition…
So, then, why do most customers leave? (here are the top reasons – in no particular order):
- Lack of relationship
- Poor attitude or ‘indifference’ from your business
- Product or service dissatisfaction
- Lured away by a competitor
Notice that ‘price’ is not on the list!
When you add up all the key reasons, it comes down to being emotionally connected with your customer and… ensuring that all of your processes, policies and procedures are built around the comfort and convenience of the customer and not the organization.
Sounds simple enough – right? Why do so many organizations get it wrong then?
I believe it is the misguided conviction of “managers” that organizational structure has to be built around and to support profit. Which means then that there is way too much microscopic focus put on controlling employees, restricting customer value, not trusting partners, and driving costs out of the business. This is evidenced in organizations that have their monthly executive review meeting and 90% of the meeting is spent talking about inefficiencies. And then, if time permits, there is some casual discussion about customers, team members and ensuring that the customer facing teams have what they need to serve.
Solution? Keep it simple. Both intrinsically and explicitly, build in the philosophy that:
Happy Employees + Satisfied Customers = PROFIT!
Too simple for the left-brained managers out there? Then go back to being mediocre.
Want to adopt the formula and grow your bottom line? Here’s how:
- Analyze your customer’s journey. That is, what, at every step along the way, does your customer go through in order to do business with you? Look at it from website to billing and everything in between. At every point where the process and team development is not centered around the customer’s experience and the value they receive, then blow it up and rebuild it!
- Recruit, assess, hire, and develop every single member of your team around a customer centric philosophy. Just look at the quarter after quarter success of WestJet Airlines and SouthWest Airlines.
- As a leader, be a customer advocate. Talk about it ALL THE TIME! Get out of your office and go spend time with your customers as much as you can.
- When customer facing team members come up against a stupid policy, process or procedure that was designed by finance, blow it up and rebuild it.
Or, go back to being mediocre with mediocre profits and accept the excuse that customers want lower prices.
Tags: Bottom Line
, Customer Retention
, Customer Service
, Employee Retention
, It's Already Inside
, Robert Murray
, Robert S. Murray