Change Agent, Advocate. Kindness. Marketing

How to Create a Customer Centric Culture

How to create a Customer Centric Culture has never been more important in business, than it is today, In this economy and era of incredible competition,

Now more than ever we must focus on our customers. It’s time to re-evaluate your customer service processes and “rules” and find ways to make it easier to do business with you. In part one of this two-part customer service article, we will discuss why a customer leaves and how to handle customer complaints. It’s always been important, how many times do we need to be reminded?

According to research by the National Chamber of Commerce the “Average” company has as many as 26 customers with problems, (6 of those with serious problems).

One financial institution learned the hard way,  when your customer is unhappy he will take his money elsewhere and sometimes it can be a very costly loss.

Here’s the story, that was not about creating a customer centered culture.

One day a man came into ABC Bank to make a deposit. While doing so he asked if they would validate his parking ticket. The Teller sent him to the receptionist who proceeded to tell the customer that they did not validate parking tickets. He then went to the branch manager. Because she did not recognize him, she too would not stamp the parking ticket. The customer did not get angry, he simply left withdrawing his 2 million dollars as he did so.”

Imagine this happening in your company:
The Lesson: Don’t let a $2 parking ticket cost YOU 2 million dollars!

Learn the Rule of 3 and 33  which simply means that customers are eleven 11 times more likely to tell others about a negative experience than a positive one. When we make a customer unhappy she or he is likely to tell 11 others, who in turn will tell another 3 each (3 X 11 is 33). And by the way, if you make that customer happy they are only likely to tell on average 3 people. Focus on the 3! by Jerry Walker

And even more important:
+ 96% of unhappy customers who receive poor treatment will never tell you.
+ 90% will not come back or buy again.
+ 69% quit doing business because of indifference.
+ 54-70% will do business again if their complaint is resolved. And could be as high as 95% if the matter is resolved quickly

How do we handle a customer complaint?
When a customer is upset about a product and service our first instinct is to take the defensive. It’s human nature. But that is not what the customer best responds to. Here are four (4) customer service tips to make them feel like they are heard when they are upset: 

1. Allow the customer to vent. Let her or him tell their story. Even if you don’t agree.
2. Empathize with them. Use words and phrases such as “I understand how you must feel.”
3. Take responsibility ~ remember that in business the buck stops here. Even when it’s not your fault, the best way to diffuse an angry customer is to accept the responsibility for the problem.
4. Stay calm, ask questions, and listen. Listening is the most neglected of our six senses and the most important. There is a reason we are given two ears and only one mouth. Our ears should be used twice as much as our mouth so we can understand and learn from others.

Sometimes customers just aren’t always right, we can still change our view point to help them become a loyal customer for us.

Written by Heidi Richards Mooney – is a Professional Motivational Speaker, Business Coach and the Author of 7 books including: “Rose Marketing on a Daisy Budget”  and “How to Grow Your Business Without Spending a Fortune.” She is also the Publisher of WE Magazine for Women.

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