A business should always focus its efforts not on making a sale but a customer.
Anyone can make a sale, even a rookie business person that cannot tell the difference between revenue and profit. Very few however know how to make a customer. Making a customer requires intentionality, skill, process and commitment. Businesses often make the mistake of thinking that once someone buys or consumes their product or service, they are now a customer. That is dangerous thinking. What is important is not the first purchase (even though that is a critical first step) it is rather what happens after the first, second or even third purchase. This is where the chaff is separated from the wheat.
A Customer you keep, a sale you soon forget
What every business should aim for is to have that customer coming back again and again, month after month and year after year. This is the type of customer that helps to grow and sustain a business. That should be the holy grail of every serious minded entrepreneur. The rest is simply playing in the shallow waters of mediocrity. This is not to diminish the role of finding new business or new business development as it is commonly referred to. However an unhealthy obsession with acquiring new business at the expense of looking after the ones in hand is a fatally flawed strategy.
So the logical question is, how does a business make customers? There are various ways to do this, but the most important one for me is customer service.
Offer Consistently Good Customer Service
I have been going to a particular restaurant in my town for the past seven years. What draws me there is not only the good food they serve (although it is up there with the best) It is the total package that I love and trust from the ever helpful staff, the personal touch of the manager, how they take a genuine interest while you are in their establishment and more importantly even after you have left. That is genuine and authentic customer service.
Good Customer Service is not Necessarily the Absence of Mistakes
Does that mean that they don’t often make a mistake in dispensing their service? Off course they do. In fact they have made a few over the past seven years. And yet I still go back to them. The reason is that they have enough deposits in the trust and reliability bank that a few withdrawals now and then are not going to make a material dent in my overall evaluation of their service.
Good Customer Service = Money in the Bank
My spend with this business now runs into several thousands. Now imagine what that translates to, if there are 50 to a 100 other customers who have been charmed by their overall service for the same number of years like me or more. Now that is the true value of good customer service to your business.
Be Intentional about Good Customer Service
This business takes their customer service very seriously to the point that their staff are continuously being trained and developed to look after customers from a holistic perspective. Each staff member has a development plan that ensures that they are continually upskilled in customer service. They are deliberate about this and to back it up, they are prepared to make a substantial investment to ensure that their customers receive consistently good service.
What about your Business?
How deliberate are you as a business person about making customers that will be with you for years to come? There is no secret formula or the proverbial magic wand, but good old customer service delivered with intentionality, commitment and consistency time and time again.
To be continued next week…..