Tag Archives: Creating Loyalty

Caring Creates CompetitionProof Customers

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No doubt, you’ve recently been served by someone that obviously didn’t care: they didn’t care about their job, about their product, certainly not about you. How likely are you to select a different vendor next time?

A caring attitude and behavior seems to be way less common today, yet is a critical component of creating a CompetitionProof environment. It’s really easy to demonstrate caring. Here are a few examples: When you are working with a customer, give them your full attention. That means not checking your watch, answering the phone, multitasking, or being distracted by other activities.

Act as if the customer you’re with is the only customer you have and see what happens to your sales. Take a few seconds to see what else your customer needs from you. Surprisingly, sales people say, “Anything else?” which tends to cut off the conversation. Instead say, “What more can I do for you,” which opens to further discussion.

Remember, if you customer has to go to another vendor to get what they need, you’re highly vulnerable to competitive attack. Set up your environment to let customers know that you care. Does your screen saver say, “I’d rather be golfing?” That’s a not so subtle indicator that they may not have your complete attention.

When you show your customers that you care about them, you create a CompetitionProof impression.

Today’s post was inspired by a great conversation with colleague, Tim Richardson (http://timrichardson.com/), as he was driving to South Dakota to speak for the governor. Tim’s forthcoming book is about the impact that a caring culture has on business success.

Creating Loyalty Means CompetitionProof

Most companies believe that customer satisfaction is the key to competitive success. Satisfied customers are ripe for picking by a company that knows how to be CompetitionProof.

The reality is that customer satisfaction is the price of admission to the market. Satisfaction simply means that customers will pay for what they’ve already ordered or won’t return what they’ve bought. But satisfaction doesn’t guarantee that they’d buy that product of service again nor even if they’d do business with that company again.

For example, I’m sure that you’ve had a recent meal at a restaurant where the food was acceptable and the service was passable. You were satisfied; you paid your bill and left a standard-size tip. But, do you have any plans to return to that restaurant in the immediate future? If not, your satisfaction has no value to that restaurant owner.

Now, think about your favorite restaurant. Would you say that the dining experience is satisfactory? Or would you use other words? Perhaps you might say delightful, amazing, or extraordinary. Do you have plans to return, perhaps to celebrate a special occasion or enjoy some extra money that came your way?

Becoming CompetitionProof means going beyond satisfaction to creating customer delight. And it’s really not that difficult to delight your customer. It just means thinking about doing the unexpected, like taking responsibility for a great customer experience.

For example, I recently ordered an old book on-line. I paid for the transaction but the book never arrived. I contacted the bookseller, and here’s the note that I received back from the book seller:

I am sorry. I don’t know what could’ve happened to your book. It was mailed out on the 21st, so something must have happened between here and there.

We will refund your card for the total amount (which was $7.27). We no longer have your card info, so you will need to send it in a couple of separate emails, or if you prefer we can send you a check.

If you prefer the check please send your address in the email.

Again, we apologise for this inconvenience.

Thank you. Susan and Chip

Wow! They totally took responsibility where most resellers would have said, “Tough, not my problem.”

I responded: Thanks for checking on it. The mail does get lost sometimes. Perhaps it will show up sometime soon. I’m not worried about $7.27.

So I’m going to decline your kind refund offer.

Best regards, Mark S.A. Smith

I don’t mind taking the hit when I didn’t ask for insurance. I’m willing to take responsibility, too. But they being people who know the value of a customer over a transaction they responded with:

Thank you. You’re very kind, however we don’t feel you should have to pay for something that you did not receive. We have found another copy of this book online and we are having it drop shipped to you.

Thank you. Susan and Chip

And the reordered book showed up in the mail the next week.

So if you ever need to find an old book, I heartily recommend Givens Books of Salem, Virginia, http://www.biblio.com/bookstores/chip53.html

And that’s a great way to create loyalty and become CompetitionProof!