2016-05-02 by Ola Löfvenborg
Never keep their promises – that is not a review you would want from a customer. On the contrary, the customer’s willingness to pay increases together with customer satisfaction. If your deliveries are maybe delayed or of poor quality, you are giving the customer a number of arguments to challenge the price. But this is not the most important point!
Instead you should try to give the customer a good story to tell – and a one where you are the hero!
It is generally said that it costs 5-10 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. But this we can elaborate: Dissatisfied customers inhibits the growth – the customer may choose not to do business at all, or move their business to a competitor. Additionally, there is a ripple effect – influencing others not to do business with you. Whether operating on a limited market or on a mass market is equally important. Customer satisfaction is an essential competitive requirement in today’s market where reviews are of increased importance. And even if you are operating on a limited market, you can count on that staff of different customers sometimes know each other and tend to tell the experiences of each other.
The customer will always want to justify their choices and their decisions. What story do you want your customer to tell their partners or peers? Let me take an example:
The customer is dissatisfied with the quality of your product and is considering changing supplier. If you do not manage to turn the customer satisfaction around, and that you actually lose the customer – what happens then?
“We changed the supplier X – the quality was not good enough, and besides there were also problems with this and that … It was impossible to stick with them – so now we placed our business at supplier Y instead”
Bud instead, if you manage to get the customer over on your side, so you get a happy customer – will the customer then talk about their previously perceived problems? Hardly:
“Supplier X really meet our quality requirements, and also this and that…” “If we had trouble with them before? Naah, there is nothing to talk about, that was just a temporary glitch – could happen to anybody.”
So how do you do then? Start with the basics. Make sure the customer gets what you agreed to. Then season with a little “over supply” – could be extra services or whatever – then the customer directly gets a story to tell internally in his company, or better yet: for others!