In his book, How to Win Customers and Keep Them for Life, Michael LeBoeuf points out that customers buy only two things: good feelings and solutions to problems. He’s right.
Everything that a customer wants from you will fall into one of those two categories.
• You don’t sell clothes. You sell a sharp appearance, style, attractiveness, comfort, and warmth.
• You don’t sell insurance. You sell peace of mind for people and their families.
•You don’t sell toys. You sell happy moments for children.
• You don’t sell houses. You sell comfort, contentment, a good investment, pride of ownership, privacy, and space.
You don’t sell meals. You sell an enjoyable dining experience.
You don’t sell things at all; you sell good feelings and solutions to problems. The customer’s problem might be as simple as needing a tool to do a job. Every moment you are in the business, think about feelings and solutions. Make those two goals your most important activities. If you do, your relationship with customers will automatically improve.
How do you know when you have good customer service? John Tschohl, who has been called a guru of customer service, says “You have good service only when customers think you do.” He also says that, in a sense, customer service is selling. It’s selling because satisfied customers come back to be customers again. They must be sold again each time they return, although with each return visit, the job gets easier.
According to the American Management Association, 65 percent of a typical company’s business comes from present customers.
Your skill at perceiving and attending to the customer is crucial to the success of any business. What feelings do your customers show when they first decide to deal with your establishment? What nonverbal signals are being given that you can use as clues to the customer’s real feelings?
Learning those signals and how to interpret them is an essential skill for a customer-driven business. Broadening the customer base is essential to a company’s survival; without the repeat customer, the loyal customer, nearly any business will falter.
Good service (which always includes good human relations) is the main reason for repeat business. The cost of finding a new customer is five times greater than the cost of keeping the customers you have. Unhappy customers have a high cost, to the average disgruntled customer tells 8 to 10 people about the unpleasant experience. Clearly, treating your customers as the most important part of the organization will pay off in the long run, in terms of both growth and added profits.
Besides the immediate needs, each customer has basic human needs that all members of the human race share . Often customers simply want to be noticed, to be listened to, to be taken seriously. Remembering their basic needs could be the only difference between your business and a competitor’s. Quality products alone, without positive treatment of customers, is simply not enough for a business to succeed over the long haul.
If you’d like further information, call COCC at (541) 383-7734.