When Your Customers Win, You Cant Lose


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When Your Customers Win, You Cant Lose

  1. 2. When Your Customers Win, You Can’t Lose AUTHOR: Jack Collis PUBLISHER: Harper Business DATE OF PUBLICATION: NUMBER OF PAGES: 211 pages
  2. 3. <ul><li>The only real potential a business has is in its customers. Products, services, location and knowledge are all important, but limited and fairly short term in potential. The potential of customers, however, is only limited by the imagination and expectations of businesspeople and customers. </li></ul><ul><li>The people that businesspeople need to build their businesses are out there and waiting to be influenced into becoming customers; they are waiting to experience the good feelings that go with having expectations met. They are constantly searching for satisfaction and recognition of their worth as customers. </li></ul><ul><li>True success as businesspeople would result from removing the blinkers preventing us from realizing the enormous potential for growth and increased profits that is within the grasp of those who can focus all their decisions, activities and energies on satisfying their customers. </li></ul>The Big Idea
  3. 4. Why You Need This Book The solutions to this problem are not that easy, but they are not that hard to discover and implement either. This book is all about the ‘how to’, the ‘can do’, and most especially the ‘will do’ of what needs to be done to tap the limitless potential of customer satisfaction. This book is all about worthwhile choices; it is filled with practical, easy to implement strategies, techniques and tactics for readers to implement, and explores the attitudes that help and hinder people in their dealings with customers. It will help you take the ‘war’ out of customer relationships and create peace and harmony while increasing productivity and profit – by teaching you to focus on the customer.
  4. 5. Creating Satisfied Customers Why customer care is sweeping the world The major test of all businesses is the need to deal effectively with the human element. This consists of those inside the business who manage and run it, and those outside it who are its customers and make profits – and thus the business itself – possible. Of these two facets, the customer is the more important one. Even if the management is less than optimal, if the business has customers it will survive and even thrive. This will not be the case if the reverse is true. Customer service is sweeping the world today because it is a key issue in business survival. Other facets of business that were once seen as key – location, special or unique products, finance – are key no longer, as modern transport, communication, shipping, and other factors have negated these advantages.
  5. 6. Creating Satisfied Customers <ul><li>Businesspeople have to decide that the customer really is ‘king’ and treat them as such if their businesses are to survive and prosper over the long run. Those who serve the customer well have a greater chance of succeeding; those who ignore them will either have only limited success or will fail. </li></ul><ul><li>The great opportunity today is the opportunity to give the type of customer service that ensures customer satisfaction. The greatest unsatisfied need in the community today is the need for satisfaction. </li></ul><ul><li>Why customers quit </li></ul><ul><li>Here are some points to ponder: </li></ul><ul><li>Of all dissatisfied customers, 4% are moved to complain, the other 96% generally go away, and 91% will never return. </li></ul><ul><li>It gets worse – a typically dissatisfied customer tells eight to 10 people of his dissatisfaction. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Creating Satisfied Customers <ul><li>Of those who leave and don’t come back, a whopping 68% say that they do so because they did not feel valued – they felt that indifference was being shown to them. </li></ul><ul><li>Seven out of 10 complaining customers will do business with you again – if you resolve the complaint in their favor. 95% will do business with you again if you resolve the complaint on the spot. Satisfied customers will very often tell others about the outcome of the complaint – advertising for you! </li></ul><ul><li>Five tips to keep customers: </li></ul><ul><li>Keep in touch with your customers and constantly let them know they are valued. </li></ul><ul><li>Turn them on to your business by making it a pleasure for them to do business with you. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure all your people are turned on to customer service. </li></ul><ul><li>Resolve complaints quickly and in favor of the customer. </li></ul><ul><li>Do more than you promise and on time. </li></ul>
  7. 8. Creating Satisfied Customers <ul><li>Why customers complain </li></ul><ul><li>Customers communicate with a business in many ways, but the majority of these communications are carried out by phone, by letter or face-to-face. So businesspeople could benefit by looking at what customers say that causes them dissatisfaction in these three areas. </li></ul><ul><li>Complaints about phone contact with businesses include: </li></ul><ul><li>Finding the number is constantly busy. </li></ul><ul><li>Being placed on hold without anyone getting back to let the caller know what is happening. </li></ul><ul><li>Being transferred from place to place without receiving any sort of meaningful assistance. </li></ul><ul><li>A rude manner on the telephone, described as being ‘abrupt’ and ‘not friendly at all’. </li></ul><ul><li>Encountering an employee who does not want to get involved in the matter, or who does not want to resolve the complaint. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Creating Satisfied Customers <ul><li>Complaints about contact in writing with businesses include: </li></ul><ul><li>Not having received a prompt answer to their communication. </li></ul><ul><li>Incorrect spelling of names in the reply letter. </li></ul><ul><li>The letter being sent to the wrong address. </li></ul><ul><li>Unclear or hard to understand information in the letter. </li></ul><ul><li>The letter was written in a rude, brusque, or threatening manner, or did not acknowledge the worth of the customer. </li></ul><ul><li>Complaints about face-to-face contact with business representatives include: </li></ul><ul><li>No one being present to attend to customers. </li></ul><ul><li>Customers being ignored while staff continue to work or talk. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff continuing their conversations with other staff while serving customers. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff neither being able to help nor offering alternatives. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff not knowing about products or services. </li></ul>
  9. 10. Creating Satisfied Customers <ul><li>To avoid complaints, then: </li></ul><ul><li>Train your staff in first-class telephone techniques and make sure your phone system is effective. </li></ul><ul><li>Answer all written complaints or queries promptly and effectively. </li></ul><ul><li>Insist that customers be dealt with quickly and effectively. Do not let staff socialize at the expense of consumers. </li></ul><ul><li>Make regular checks to ensure your customer-service standards are met. </li></ul><ul><li>Run regular training sessions to keep the skill level of your staff high. </li></ul><ul><li>Why business takes customers for granted </li></ul><ul><li>This situation has its origins in the way a business: </li></ul><ul><li>Establishes itself – the focus of management and staff can be on all the activities needed to administer a business instead of on the consumer. </li></ul><ul><li>Sees itself in terms of customer service – most businesses believe their customer service is at least good even though it may not be. </li></ul>
  10. 11. Creating Satisfied Customers <ul><li>Trains its staff to deal with customers – management does not seem to reinforce the customer service training that is carried out; “the quicker over the better” is the apparent byword in this case. </li></ul><ul><li>Deals with moments of opportunity – the staff acting on behalf of the business have at precise moments a choice of how they will respond to consumers’ needs. (More about this in a succeeding section.) </li></ul><ul><li>Rewards its staff for service to consumers – People do things if they are rewarded for them; the reason why most businesses do not have an excellent customer satisfaction record is that excellent service is rarely rewarded at any level. </li></ul><ul><li>Creating customer satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>The key to creating customer satisfaction is threefold: </li></ul><ul><li>First, recognize that real opportunities lie upon increasing the amount of business you do, the growth and success of that business, and improving your careers in business, in the area of customer care and satisfaction. </li></ul>
  11. 12. Creating Satisfied Customers <ul><li>Next, recognize that superior customer care and satisfaction is achieved by doing a combination of hundreds of little things well instead of a few things excellently. </li></ul><ul><li>Lastly, accept that your business is your customers: the purpose of business is to create customers to create profits. </li></ul><ul><li>Lastly, to satisfy customers: </li></ul><ul><li>Give prompt, efficient and pleasant service to every customer. </li></ul><ul><li>Pay attention to all customers, so they feel they are special. </li></ul><ul><li>Use their names as often as reasonably possible. </li></ul><ul><li>They may not always be pleasant; work hard to make them feel valued. </li></ul><ul><li>Go the extra mile to give outstanding service and satisfaction. Thank them for doing business with you; ask them to come back. </li></ul>
  12. 13. Creating Satisfied Customers <ul><li>Moments of opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>As discussed earlier, these are moments where staff acting on behalf of the business have a choice on how they will respond to consumers’ needs. At such moments, the business’s relationships with its customers are being tested; if the customer is satisfied the business wins, and vice versa. </li></ul><ul><li>To use moments of opportunity: </li></ul><ul><li>Greet the customer immediately. </li></ul><ul><li>Give the customer all your attention. Act for them and do more than they expect. </li></ul><ul><li>Be yourself with the customer. Give the very best of yourself; be warm, friendly, open. Build relationships with them. </li></ul><ul><li>Act on the customer’s behalf. Make their problems your own problems and arrange solutions for your customer as if you were doing so for yourself. </li></ul><ul><li>Use and bend the rules to satisfy your customer. </li></ul><ul><li>Leave your customer with a first-class impression of yourself and the business you represent. </li></ul><ul><li>Use the customer’s name as often as possible. </li></ul>
  13. 14. Helping Customers to Buy <ul><li>Communicating with your customers </li></ul><ul><li>It is very important to communicate effectively. Every business needs to be on the alert for the messages it is sending its consumers. Consumers end up doubting what is said when the actions of organizations fail to match the message being sent. If this is the case, change what is being said to better reflect what you do. </li></ul><ul><li>To communicate effectively: </li></ul><ul><li>Do not take anything for granted; ask to make sure you understand what the consumer wants. </li></ul><ul><li>Speak to be understood; use words that are easy to understand. </li></ul><ul><li>Watch for body language signs and clues to what the customer is really feeling – head movements, facial expressions, space between people, tone of voice and the like. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure actions match words – people trust actions more than words. </li></ul><ul><li>Be responsive to needs and moods; make customers feel relaxed and comfortable. </li></ul>
  14. 15. Helping Customers to Buy <ul><li>Listen to your customers </li></ul><ul><li>Here are some tips to improve listening skills: </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to understand; don’t just hear the customer’s complaints, issues or points of view. </li></ul><ul><li>As you listen, focus on meaning. Take note of supporting points to gain total understanding. </li></ul><ul><li>The better you listen the more your customer will respond to you. </li></ul><ul><li>Listen actively; maintain eye contact and nod so your customer knows you are listening and interested. </li></ul><ul><li>Give feedback to your customers. Repeat what you believe they have told you until you get it right. </li></ul><ul><li>How to use questions </li></ul><ul><li>It is through questioning techniques and by listening to customers that we are able to determine their particular needs. We have to identify what the customers really want by using the right questions to deal with them and unlock their innermost thoughts, desires and feelings. </li></ul>
  15. 16. Helping Customers to Buy <ul><li>To use questions effectively: </li></ul><ul><li>Use soft questions – attitude questions, questions about feelings – to find out exactly what your customer wants. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask confirming questions, such as “That is important to you, isn’t it?” to lead your customer to make a purchasing decision. </li></ul><ul><li>When you ask a soft question, listen very closely for the answer; your customer is telling you what you need to do to close the sale. </li></ul><ul><li>Good soft questions uncover wants and needs. Then you are in a position to offer solutions. </li></ul><ul><li>Asking customers questions and listening to answers is the best way to help them to decide on what to buy. </li></ul><ul><li>Why customers buy </li></ul><ul><li>Customers only have two reasons for buying anything: to make themselves feel good , or to solve a problem . The first reason is emotional – relating to desire – and the second logical. </li></ul>
  16. 17. Helping Customers to Buy <ul><li>To help consumers buy: </li></ul><ul><li>Buying is a communication process, so focus on understanding. Be patient, explore options, and help the customer select the best option. </li></ul><ul><li>Customers are focused on “What’s in it for me?” Describe in detail how they will benefit from buying your product/s. </li></ul><ul><li>Always give logical reasons for why they should buy, but focus most on the emotional reasons as most sales are made on emotion. </li></ul><ul><li>Learn and apply the answers to the customers’ concerns regarding cost, fear, and risk relating to the purchase. </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt your style of selling to the customers’ style of buying. Identify the type of person they are and get in sync with them. </li></ul><ul><li>How to sell benefits to your customers </li></ul><ul><li>Benefit selling is vitally important as customers buy whatever it is the product or service will do for them. They are rarely interested in the product per se. Benefits are what a product or service actually does to benefit the buyer. </li></ul>
  17. 18. Helping Customers to Buy <ul><li>To sell benefits: </li></ul><ul><li>Offer benefits to satisfy the buyers’ aspirations. </li></ul><ul><li>Turn what goods are into what they do to get a customer to buy them. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid selling on price and focus on benefits. Show your customer why the product is great value at the price because of the benefits. </li></ul><ul><li>Become expert at telling customers all about the benefits of a product or service. </li></ul><ul><li>What to do when customers object </li></ul><ul><li>There are generally three reasons for objections to be raised: </li></ul><ul><li>There is something the customer does not understand. </li></ul><ul><li>There is something the customer does not believe. </li></ul><ul><li>There is something the customer is trying to hide. </li></ul><ul><li>These objections may be genuine or false – raised for authentic or hidden reasons. </li></ul>
  18. 19. Helping Customers to Buy <ul><li>To deal with objections: </li></ul><ul><li>Welcome them; they are a natural part of a sale. </li></ul><ul><li>Listen carefully, answer them in detail and ask for confirmation that the consumer is satisfied with your answer. </li></ul><ul><li>Use soft words to answer an objection, such as “I understand your concerns, however...” and then give your answer. </li></ul><ul><li>Conviction that what is being told to consumers is the best possible solution is the most effective way to deal with objections. So get to know everything important about what you sell. </li></ul><ul><li>How to ask customers for an order </li></ul><ul><li>Why do those who sell have such reluctance to ask for the order? Two basic reasons are fear of rejection and a reluctance to be seen as pushy. </li></ul>
  19. 20. Helping Customers to Buy <ul><li>Tips regarding asking for the order: </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t take objections or resistance to buying personally. </li></ul><ul><li>Offering alternatives – list them and ask which is preferred – is an easy way to ask for an order. </li></ul><ul><li>Pay attention to buying signals (such as reaching for wallets etc.) and respond to them by asking for the order. </li></ul><ul><li>Timing is always critical; closing too soon or waiting too long to close can kill the sale outright. Watch and listen for buying signals. </li></ul><ul><li>From your opening, take consent for granted and always close by using phrases such as ‘When you do this’ or ‘When you own this’. </li></ul><ul><li>What to do when customers complain </li></ul><ul><li>Customers complain when they believe they have been treated unfairly. They should be treated as special because they give the business the opportunity to solve the problem and retain them as customers. </li></ul>
  20. 21. Helping Customers to Buy <ul><li>To deal with complaints: </li></ul><ul><li>Accept that complaints give you the opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your customer. </li></ul><ul><li>In order for you to win, your customer must win, so avoid getting into a contest. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask the question “What is it you think we should do that will solve the problem and be fair to both of us?” to solve difficult situations. </li></ul><ul><li>Listen patiently; let the consumer talk. Ask questions to understand, and then suggest a solution. </li></ul><ul><li>It is most critical to preserve the relationship when customers complain. 95% of such customers will stick with you if they find you in their favor. </li></ul>
  21. 22. Marketing to Your Customer <ul><li>Critical marketing issues </li></ul><ul><li>Here are some critical marketing issues that will help increase turnover and profits if dealt with effectively. </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of customers’ perceptions of the business, products and services </li></ul><ul><li>Market success lies in culling products and making stars of those that sell </li></ul><ul><li>The need to be brilliant at the basics – having humility and not aiming to be an empire builder </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of differentiation (how different you are from your competition) to success in business </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of seeking out, understanding and marketing to the female customer </li></ul>
  22. 23. The Customers Within This refers to the staff who provide the energy and know-how that keep the organization functioning and make it possible for the organization to serve the customer outside. To identify the customers within, ask yourself, “Who are the people inside my organization who use what I do?” Given the importance of the customers within, you must seek to motivate them properly. Create a work climate within which they are encouraged to operate to their fullest potential by allowing them to communicate properly and freely, building up their self-image and self-esteem, and structuring your system by fixing a time for annual goal setting and discussions regarding these goals.
  23. 24. Building a Customer-driven Organization <ul><li>Every business is a service business. Every business survives only on its customers. Customer satisfaction is thus everyone’s business – including that of top management – such that it becomes a major component of the corporate culture of the business. Otherwise, customer service can become a “front-line only” operation. The whole organization must be involved! </li></ul><ul><li>Some strategies to do so: </li></ul><ul><li>Adopt a mission statement for customer satisfaction. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure every person in the organization identifies their “customers within.” </li></ul><ul><li>Treat all employees exactly as you want them to treat your customers. </li></ul><ul><li>In decision making at all levels of the organization, make decisions on the basis of how they will benefit your customers. </li></ul><ul><li>Level out the organization’s hierarchy and empower lower levels of management to take part in decision making (give decision powers to front-line employees). </li></ul>
  24. 25. Building a Customer-driven Organization <ul><li>Set up a system of recording complaints so that they can be reviewed regularly. </li></ul><ul><li>Set up a system of regular meetings at which at least 15 customers are present. </li></ul><ul><li>Set up an effective training program that is completely customer oriented. </li></ul><ul><li>Lastly, keep customer satisfaction alive in your company – prevent the initial interest from dying out by continuously focusing on the principles discussed in this book and returning to them. </li></ul>
  25. 26. BusinessSummaries.com is a business book Summaries service. Every week, it sends out to subscribers a 9- to 12-page summary of a best-selling business book chosen from among the hundreds of books printed out in the United States. For more information, please go to http://www.bizsum.com. ABOUT BUSINESSSUMMARIES