1. Keep customers longer*
2. Have lower sales and marketing costs
3. Experience a higher return on sales
4. Have better net profits
*There is a now-famous study conducted by The Harvard Business School (2000), which reports that if a company can increase its customer retention from 90 to 95 percent, pretax profits could soar 45 percent!
Bright Customers Demand Brilliance
Today's customer is infinitely more informed. When they arrive at your door as a prospect, they are aware of their place in the value chain (and are often trying to make it more favorable). They are doing their homework online (comparison shopping, reviewing warranties, confirming certifications, etc.), and, in many cases, have formed an opinion before ever seeing you.
After years of watching companies benchmark each other's best practices, seeing Wall Street CEOs become celebrities and watching friends, family and strangers from all walks of life receive MBAs, there is a growing perception among consumers that all businesses should be teeming with brilliance from top to bottom.
In this ever-smarter world, your customer is demanding:
1. Brilliant professionals at every touch point
2. Unrivaled selection of brands and styles
3. Fair prices and measurable value
4. Your complete attention
5. Great turnaround time and immediate delivery
6. Your personal guarantee (trust)
7. To be acknowledged and remembered
When Customer Demands Are Met
Are the above expectations fair? Does it matter? If these are now the governing rules, could you succeed if you ignored them? In all honesty, aren't these the same seven expectations you have for the producers who receive your business? As consumers ourselves any rejection by us is wildly hypocritical.
Being acutely aware of your customers' needs and expectations — and consistently meeting them — is a recipe for success. One thing is certain: Great service generates bigger profits. Companies that rank high in service keep customers longer and make more money. The days of producer command and control are gone, but your new role as responder/producer brings you right next to your customers. From there, you're close enough to dance.
About the author:
Chris Traynor, Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), is director and knowledge scout for Whip-Smart Management Consulting, Wayne, N.J., www.whip-smart.com, and has 25 years' experience in the solid surface industry as a consultant to fabricators, distributors and manufacturers. He is available at email@example.com.