Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall Topic-Are you doing the right things to keep the customers you have?


Robert Tucker says that poor service is the leading reason why customers switch vendors. But 65-85% of customers who leave a supplier claim to have been satisfied, which indicates that customer satisfaction is not enough to ensure longterm loyalty. A business achieves customer loyalty by offering exceptional value, something customers feel they can not get anywhere else. The problem is that value is constantly changing. Value means different things to different peopleand what customers value today may not satisfy them tomorrow.

"Value is nothing more than the right price, the right service, and the right quality — in the right combination for the customer. Your Value Proposition — the blend of price, service, and quality you tailor to your specific customers — is a formula that needs perpetual fine-tuning to keep pace with the changing staffing market."

In order to retain customers, businesses must continuously create new ways of adding value. Tucker has formulated seven specific value-adding strategies that will help a business focus on adding value:

1. Make Customers Value Your Driving Force - everyone in your company must be dedicated to delivering value.
2. Adopt the Customer's Problems - selling value means becoming your customers' consultant, problem solver, advisor, planner, innovation coach, marketing mentor, and partner. You have to anticipate and respond to each customer's problems.
3. Make the Customer's Life Easier - Ultimate convenience is what the customer really wants. Re-examine your marketing materials, brochures, forms, advertising, phone routing system, message taking, voice mail, invoicing, and policies and procedures from the standpoint of customer ease of use. Don't forget to get customer input.
4. Empower the Customer with Knowledge - Empowerment means enabling, encouraging, and guiding customers to seize opportunities and solve problems.
5. Provide Greater Responsiveness - responsiveness is second only to quality.
6. Offer Greater Customization - customers are willing to pay more if they believe that they have greater needs than your competition can provide.
7. Customer Value Comes From People - customer value comes from people are valued. Value adding concepts should be applied to employees as well as customers.

Customer satisfaction and what a customer values consists of more than a good price. Businesses should continually strive to improve value in an effort to keep customer loyalty.

Work Cited:
Tucker, Robert. Seven Value Adding Sales Strategies. 4 November 2000

No comments: