Keeping Great Customers

Great customers keep coming back. Furthermore, they like your product or service so much that they tell other people. (Who buy from you and, as they also become great customers, keep coming back.)

Under these circumstances, who needs to advertise? Well, we all do actually, as not do so means we are taking those same customers for granted. However, our advertising, marketing and promotion can take on a far more positive slant, rather than an appeal for new people to do business with us.

I don’t understand how so many businesses get this so wrong. After so much having been written and readily available on the subject of customer service, why is customer service so poor in so many places?

The “Golden Rule” of life is that we should treat people as we would like to be treated. THIS SHOULD NOT BE HARD! Often, when business owners are confronted with evidence of poor service, they blame employees.

But wait! See how this all ties in with recruiting and retaining great staff? You cannot provide great service from unhappy staff. A sound recruitment process and ongoing staff engagement are the first and second legs of customer service; without them good service is bound not to happen.

In his book “The Ultimate Question” Fred Reichheld introduced “The Net Promoter System”. First, the ultimate question: On a scale of 1 – 10, what is the likelihood of your recommending our product or service to a friend or colleague? (You may have been asked this by representatives of a number of Australian businesses who have adopted NPS. Unfortunately, few of them seem to follow it through and “close the loop” as recommended by Reichheld.) When you think about it, what else needs to be asked – other than his recommended follow-up question: What is the reason you gave this score?

In defining Net Promoter, Reichheld says it is only those who give a score of 8, 9 or 10. Below 8, they are ambivalent, and below 4, Net Detractors!

This provides business owners with information on how well (or how poorly) their business is performing from a customer perspective, and why. From this point, the NPS can be measured on an ongoing basis, details of customer feedback can be collected, and improvements made. Simple and effective.

A number of extremely successful business have, in fact, based much that success on the implementation of NPS. Employees are asked about their positions within the business – and in some cases, the ONLY answer is “my job is a Net Promoter of……”.

It does not matter what position a person holds in a business; at some point they come into contact with the public and have an opportunity to promote the business. As Dan Pink (“To Sell Is Human”) says, “We’re all is sales, now”.

No-one is exempt from selling the business which employs them.


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