Customer relations management just naturally comes to some business owners but others struggle to keep it as a number one priority. I see it often, that blank stare. Usually during a training when I start explaining too companies and business owners about how they need to change the way they interact with their customers. Business owners have been told that they can choose how to run their own business. Well that is true and not true at the same time…read more here…As the business owner you get and have to make all the decisions. And that includes your ability to run your business into the ground by not listening to your customers. If you’re not engaging your clients, or not responding, or not listening you may very well be doing just that. I know it is not your goal, however sometimes we drive customers away due to lack of attention.
Most small business owners think the bottom line is profit. It is not. The bottom line is the strength of your relationship with your customers.
I’ll give you that if you’re not making a profit then you are doing something wrong. I believe that if you’re not making a profit it’s because you are not connecting with your customers. This isn’t a blame game, it’s more like a puzzle. Have you ever met someone and everything was just fine except for one thing? Maybe it was the handshake, maybe it was their makeup maybe it was their language. You might not have been able to even verbalize what it was that made you uneasy. We all have biaises that lead our decision making. It doesn’t really matter other than it is that one thing that makes you decide not to do business with that person.
I don’t think it’s about looking for what your doing wrong. Quite the contrary, I think you have to look at what your doing right. If you want to satisfy more customers ask your happy customers what you do that makes them come back and choose you over your competitor. Lot’s of companies ask the question very sincerely I’m sure, “What can we do to improve your experience?” In reality the result of this question is to start your customer thinking about what did you do that didn’t live up to their expectations. Is that really what you want them to be focused on? You’ve instantly asked your customer to not think about what you did well but to focus on what you did poorly, or where you didn’t measure up. Does that make sense to you? It makes no sense to me.
I help business owners through coaching look at their business from the customer’s viewpoint. I help them manage the customer experience and thus have a positive impact on customer relationship. Together we come up with questions the lead customers into conversations about what they love about you and your business or product. Getting customers to vocalize what they love leads to a stronger bond, a more loyal customer and more profits from higher sales.
Hope this was helpful my goal is always to help small business owners to look at situations differently, to step out of their box and to increase their performance. Always happy to hear your thoughts and to engage in conversation to help you with your business growth.
Chuck Franks, PCC