Make sure your team members are positive and confident, and manage their customers with that ‘yes’ attitude. Photo: Stockphoto

Keep your customers happy and healthy

Thursday, 27 April, 2017 - 14:16
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OPINION: Maintaining healthy relationships with your customers takes effort, and hard work.

Everybody is talking about the rising cost of healthcare. Not me. I’m talking about the health and wellbeing of your customers.

How healthy is their relationship with you?

What’s your cost of keeping them healthy?

Is it on the rise?

Let me give you a clue about the cost of customer health; it pales in comparison to the cost of losing them.

Do you have any customers who are in poor health, are sick of dealing with you and are dying to replace you?

What’s the cost of that?

If your customer is angry, think of them as having business illness. They’re deathly sick of you.

Like human illness, it has various stages of debility. Once discovered, you will go to all lengths, and spend thousands of fruitless dollars to try to save the patient. But if the illness is discovered too late, the patient is likely to die.

You could have spent far fewer dollars and prevented this illness from occurring. Instead of waiting until your customer is terminally ill, why not institute a customer wellness program to prevent illness from occurring in the first place?

Prevention is the best way, the easiest way, and the least expensive way. It’s also the competition prevention way.

Here is my customer wellness program, a success formula for serving memorably and keeping customers loyal. It will require that everybody on your team buys it, buys in, gets in the groove (the customer awareness groove), and gets service healthy.

• Establish benchmarks

Minimum acceptable standards, methods of response, decision parameters, a list of every reason a customer calls, a list of every customer complaint, a list of every customer’s expectations, and a documented best response to each of those situations.

• Empower employees

Based on your benchmarks, empower everyone to say ‘yes’. Only empower senior management to say ‘no’.

• Start with ‘yes’

Everybody needs to start with attitude training first. Get there by whatever positive means it takes.

• Train everyone in your business

Starting with ‘yes’. Attitude and developing fundamental skills in achieving goals, understanding yourself and your co-workers, developing pride, accepting responsibility, listening to understand, effective communicating, embracing change, making decisions, memorable service, and working as a team.

• Gripe response

Develop a standardised ‘gripe response’ formula. Train everybody in your organisation to execute it perfectly.

• Service

Ask your customer to help you serve them better. Listen to discover each customer’s most important characteristics in a relationship with you. Ask them where you can improve. Ask them to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses in those areas of prime importance to them. Find out their perceptions, and match them to yours. Modify or change your characteristics and perceptions to meet theirs.

• Assessment

Evaluate your owns strengths and weaknesses; make a plan to improve these weaknesses that has a deadline and measurable results.

• Advantage you

Identify your competitive advantages. Play to those as often as possible. To identify them, ask customers.

• Stay in front of your customer

Be more visible than your competition. Develop tools to aid that process (newsletters, faxes, articles, gifts, tickets).

• Train everyone

Ensure all staff members are trained to serve exceptionally and memorably every time a customer is encountered. Treat every customer as though they were a celebrity.

• Surprise

Surprise your customers as often as you can. Exceed their expectations in a memorable way. You know what it feels like when you are surprised – do it to someone else. Get people talking about you.

• Go the extra mile

Sometimes extra effort is required to make service happen. You have to have a willingness to go the extra mile to achieve it.

• Referrals

Your report card is unsolicited referrals. Unsolicited referrals are the measure of your success, the testament of your quality, and your ability to serve.

Think you can do it? Think you and every co-worker in your company can make customer wellness happen?

Jeffrey Gitomer is an American author, professional speaker and business trainer, who writes and lectures internationally on sales, customer loyalty and personal development. © 2017 All rights reserved. Don’t reproduce this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer.