Happy New year! I hope it has been a wonderful holiday season.
We are entering a new decade with new possibilities, new opportunities and new learnings. I bet that many of you have taken some time and looked at your business plan for the new year either individually, with your team or downline or your leaders. Many of you probably have shared your thoughts with those who support you either your family or coach. You probably have spent time reflecting on what your story was in 2019 and what you want your story to be in 2020. My strong suggestion in this process is reflecting, writing and consulting with those close to you.
The 2020 plan you revise or develop will have one common feature.
This feature is foundational to any organization, Churches, Direct Sales, Network Marketers, Universities, Large Corporations. That common feature is customers. All organizations have two goals when it comes to customers.
Retaining loyal customers
Attracting new customers
That may seem almost too simplistic however It is a safe assumption that if you do not keep and gain customers you have a hobby not a business!
The key to achieving these two goals is an inside-outside mindset to customer service.You, as the leader, first develop a culture of caring for those who work in the organization and that same caring is passed on to customers.
The Ken Blanchard companies in an article, “The Power of Customer Loyalty “note that “Providing exemplary customer service has always been perceived as a way for organizations to gain customer loyalty and improve their competitive advantage. For that reason, organizations are keenly focused on looking for ways to support and even wow their customer base. But often, the ability to do this is dependent upon how well the organization supports not just the individuals tasked with interacting with the customer, but employees at all levels.”This article cites a 2011 American Express study conducted for the White House Office of Consumer Affairs which reports the effects of poor customer service.
Poor customer service costs US organizations $338.5 billion annually
Seven out of ten buyers have ended a relationship with a company or brand due to poor service
Customers typically tell twice as many people about a bad customer service experience as they do about a good one
Seventy-eight percent of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience
It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience
It is six to seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.
The Blanchard companies in a 2017 study of customer service practices in 566 companies note that 84% of companies report a focus on customer service yet only 20 % provide any training to workers interacting with customers and only to 15% of the supervisors of those interacting with customers in an organization.
The top findings of this study are summarized below
Most Important Customer Service Improvement Issues
1.Developing systems and processes that make it easy for clients to do business with you 69%
2.Improving skills to diagnose the customer issue or need 64%
3.Developing empathy for the customer’s feelings and situation 64%
4.Improving listening skills 59%
5.Improving problem-solving skills 58%
6.Understanding the appropriate communication style to use with the customer 57%
7.Empowering people to utilize their authority to make decisions about how to support the customer 56%
8.Training people to be polite to the customer 56%
9.Making product improvements 42%
The interesting point of the findings is that only one ( the lowest-rated factor ) relates to products. The cast majority of the findings have to do with the human connections. The key is our mindset to internal and external customers.
Ken Blanchard and Cathy Cuff and Vicki Halsey In Legendary Service, the Key is to Care provide us with a model for we can follow no matter the size of our business.
This model gives you as a leader five questions to reflect upon as you look at the level of care in your business.
I= Ideal Service, Does everyone in your organization understand the importance of service to all?
C=Culture of Service, Does everyone in your organization feel valued and essential?
A= Attentive, Are we attentive to employee, downline and customer concerns?
R=Responsive, Are we able to respond quickly to concerns? Does everyone understand the power of “I am sorry”,” We can fix this” and Thanks for your business”
E=Empowered, Do those who work with you understand how to resolve issues?
You can click on a brief summary here legendary Service overview
When it comes to creating loyal customers and attracting more customers Teddy Rosevelt was right when he said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know that you care.”
The final question as you develop your 2020 vision is will you focus on all of your customers, internal and external to make 2020 a breakout year?
Blanchard K. Cuff, K. Halsey V.,2014, Legendary Service, The Key is to Care. New York, Pulvera Publishing, Mc Graw – Hill
Blanchard Companies Article The Power of Customer Loyalty www.kenblanchard.com
White House Office of Consumer Affairs “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner American Express Survey, 2011
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