Don’t lose the customers you already have

Don’t Lose the Customers You Already Have

FreshXpertise by Ron Pelger

A department store owner in London named Gordon Selfridge originated the phrase, “The customer is always right.” Those words have been tossed around in business

for many years over, but do companies and employees really follow its meaning?

Many companies make golden promises, obligations, and commitments to acquire business. Needless to say, there is an ample amount of pledges made about their quality and services. Much of it is applied to lure new business. But are all those promises honored or will a company get snowballed down the road after it becomes a customer?

There have been many stories from individuals regarding their experiences with companies that became lax in standing behind promises they made prior to obtaining their business. After the deal was secured, they paid little attention to the customer. As this careless practice continued, customers were left walking out the door.

With today’s costly operating challenges, customers are re-examining their association with suppliers. Customers want more attention, action, and better value for their money. If they don’t get it, they will leave in an instant and get it elsewhere.

Retaining regular customers should be the top priority at your company today. You should be making it easier on your regular customers to do business with you rather than giving them reasons to check out your competitors.

A study revealed that 68-percent of disgruntled customers quit their suppliers and switch to other sources because they feel they were mistreated. Does it make sense to lose customers when they are difficult to capture in the first place?

Here are some mistakes that suppliers make with their customers:

  • Customers get what they see — If a distribution center or packing house is disorderly and messy, a customer perceives it as though that is how their product will arrive from that facility.
  • Overcharging — Exorbitant pricing is critical and puts a retailer in a non- competitive position resulting in lost business for both parties.
  • Poor quality — Substandard product will not generate repeat business by shoppers.
  • Lack of knowledge — Buyers or salespeople who do not know facts about their products send a message of distrust to customers.
  • Boorish salesperson — A pushy salesperson who uses expletive language in dealing with customers will easily throw away any chance of getting the business. Loud mischievous behaviors angers and insults customers into walking away.
  • “We can’t.” Using the word “can’t” is the easy way out for a supplier who doesn’t want to go an extra five yards for a customer. That attitude will eventually come out on the losing end every time. 
  • Out of stocks. Unable to accommodate customers with product they order is the same as the customers not having a reliable supplier. Retailers can’t sell from empty display fixtures.

Chasing customers out your door is easy to do as indicated by some of the previous examples. Customer retention is an absolute necessity these days. The reliability of a supplier’s product or service is the main ingredient in holding on to current customers.

The top prime 20-percent of your customers generates 80-percent of your sales. Treat them with tender loving care.

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Jennifer Lawson

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