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The first and most important thing you can ever do for your business is to get all of your staff into the mindset of putting the customers first because they are the people who will effectively, drive your business to success.  Whilst your workforce are undoubtedly the key players in collecting and collating all customer information and devising the business structure, it is the customers who keep them in play.  Without them, you don’t have much of a business.

Customers want to feel that you are doing what they want, providing what they need and living up to their expectations when they are dealing with you.  They don’t want to know you’re having a bad day or are fed up, they want a service that’s unforgettable and that they would want to tell all their friends about.  A business that can provide them with all of this and still be delivering high standards is going have excellent customer retention and loyalty.  Don’t get me wrong, this is not easy to achieve and takes a great deal of dedication but with the right CRM, staff attitude and business plan, it is achievable.

Whilst I was visiting a restaurant last year with a large group of family and friends, I received the worst customer care imaginable.  They were so focused on the quantity of people that they could get through the door that they failed to focus on the customers that were already present.  This was a key mistake right from the start.  If they had focused on the customers they already had they would have found that they stayed longer, spent more money and the customers who were at the door, would have come back another time to see what the fuss was all about.  Instead they had to absorb the costs of unhappy customers and received less than glowing reviews.  Seeing as we live in a world where good reviews are worth their weight in gold, this was not a good business strategy.

Your staff can help you win this process.  If they are taught the true value of customer service and treat each and every customer as they would expect to be treated themselves, they would not only see the increase in business, they would also see the appreciation from their customers.  Simple things such as service with a smile, quick response times, kept promises and welcoming environments all contribute to a satisfied customer.  I know that the places I love the most aren’t the ones where I was hounded or disregarded but were the ones where I was treated politely, had my questions answered and was wished a good day.  These are the places that I look forward to doing business with again.

A good CRM program such as SugarCRM can help you build good customer relationships.  You are able to collect valuable information about your customers such as their buying habits, personal events or expectations and if you keep track of this information, you can utilize it to build a successful relationship with your customer.  If you walked into a store and had someone greet you with your favourite item I’m sure you would have the urge to buy more than you intended as a gesture of thanks and appreciation.  Good customer service goes a long way.

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so.” – Mahatma Gandhi

 

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