There’s a lot of buzz these days about customer acquisition. Customer acquisition is certainly an essential aspect of business, but it’s also time consuming and costly. Wouldn’t it be easier to take great care of your existing customers, to endear them to you and create such loyal followers that they continue to purchase your offering, and happily share your brand with everyone they know? If that sounds better than spending untold thousands and thousands of marketing and ad dollars trying to acquire new customers, then read on…
1. Create policies aimed at the few rather than the many
I see this time and time again –policies meant to control the behavior of those few who will stop at nothing to rip off a company, to game the system. What about the rest of your customers? What about those who are honest? What you communicate to the scammers and rule breakers is that you are on to them. Guess what? They are already finding ways to circumvent your rules. And, those of us who are honest, and loyal? We are left feeling like you care much more about your interests than ours. We don’t feel important or valued.
2. Create processes that work best for you, not your customers
How many times have you tried to resolve a customer service issue, where YOU were the customer, and the process made you want to scream…out loud…from a rooftop? I have done business with, and worked for, companies that were much more focused on what worked for them, for their chosen internal processes, than what worked for their customer. Make it easy for customers to resolve issues and they are much more likely to give you another chance, even when you really screw up. And you will – no company is perfect. It’s how these companies deal with mistakes that can mean the difference between a customer leaving them forever (and telling plenty of people about the experience) and a customer giving them a chance to make it right and regain their loyalty.
3. Leave your guys and gals on the “front lines” powerless
Something I learned long ago: never take no from someone who does not have the authority to say yes. Unfortunately, the majority of companies that have a reputation for poor customer service tie the hands of their employees – these employees are not empowered to say yes…ever. These businesses do not enable their employees to think for themselves, to do what is appropriate (notice I did not say “do what it takes”) to make things right with an unsatisfied customer. Imagine how much better the situation would be for the employee if you trusted them to make good judgment calls. Imagine how much better the situation would be for the customer if they could have their issues resolved quickly by an employee empowered to say yes. Imagine how much better the situation would be for your business if your employees felt valued and your customers felt like you were doing what was best for them? Imagine if all companies had a policy such as this one:
THE POWER OF ONE®
We know that the one thing that sets Omni apart and gives our guests a truly memorable stay is our associates. That’s why we empower every associate to make decisions and take action to ensure your stay is exceptional. From creating programs that appeal to your senses to assisting with dining reservations or just making sure that you have a quick checkout, every Omni Hotels associate has the power to help you with whatever you need through unsurpassed customer service – that is The Power of One®.
It’s such a simple thing and yet many companies totally miss the mark.