Developing a great product and providing outstanding general services are important tangibles for business success. Having a product do what it is supposed to do and hold up, while other products fail over time, will have a positive impact on consumer confidence. A business needs to stand firmly behind the quality of its product to help strengthen its name and credibility in the community. Your product is the evidence of years of R&D that is shared with the public through marketing and advertisement. If product consistency is proven to be unreliable and ineffective, profits are normally marginalized, brand is tarnished, and consumer confidence can be destroyed.
Service delivery can have a similar impact on consumer confidence. Services provided to customers that are slow, confusing, inaccurate, or unreliable, are persuasive factors that not only hurt those you are trying to serve and build confidence with, but negatively impact others, who hear about your unprofessional behavior through word of mouth, poor survey results, or social media can potentially compromise future customers and sells. Bad press can destroy the web of confidence you have worked so hard to establish and those in the market place will be hesitant to do business with your business once they hear that others have had a negative experience with your business.
As previously mentioned, understanding the importance of having solid products and responsive services are functionally important and necessary for a business. On the other hand, dialing in on the importance of Valuing your Customers by meeting and hopefully exceeding their expectations resonates at a much deeper level. Customers need and want to know that their interest and person are a priority to and for your business. The fast pace environment of the 21st century required businesses to pump out products at Mach speed, which is normally at the peril of cultivating relationships and monitoring your customers’ experience. By not having your focus on customer care can cause your principle asset to take an unintended back seat to the hustle and bustle of competition in the market place and disengage customers in their relationship with a business on a much deeper level. Businesses that are in touch with what their Customers, Value and understand the importance of providing valuable information and feedback in a timely manner, giving their customers the attention they need and deserve on a consistent basis, and having a top-notched customer-centered care plan. Each decision considered should be with your customer’s interest in mind. Focusing on customer care will keep your business well positioned over your competition, increase retention, improve loyalty, which in-turn can become a marketing arm in the recruitment of new customers.
Businesses need to understand with the endless access to businesses information, customers can go shopping for new relationships that are willing to cater to their needs versus sticking with a business that put profits ahead of customer care. When customers believe they are valued above profit driven businesses, they are more apt to be repeat consumers. Data consistently show that the expense to acquire new customers are three to four times more costly than it is to nurture current resident customers. Data also shows that building a loyal customer base not only increases retention, but improves annual profits, company credibility, and boosting the perception of its brand. Businesses that are in touch with what their Customers Value are better positioned to deliver and hit the mark on their needs and expectations more often than their competition. There are many expressions of value, but in a simple expression, Value denotes the level of respect and honesty established, and the degree of trust formed with your customers. Knowing the significance of cultivating value with your customers highlights the level of importance your business places on their customers. It’s important for businesses to remember that customer satisfaction is a life line that promotes the strength and resilience of a business.
Marlin R. Clark, Ph.D.
Owner, Salt and Pepper Communications, LLC
“Customer service is not a goal, it’s an experience”