Terry Corbell, The Biz Coach
By Terry Corbell
Business Consultant

Your Best Source for Business Advice: Your Customers



The new economy – with a highly competitive marketplace – is making it becoming harder and harder to for businesses to sustain growth.

So customer engagement and word-of-mouth advertising have taken on an increasing importance.

It’s a dilemma. It’s not just about customer service leading to the point of sale and after. Yes, you’ve got to be concerned about giving great service after the sale and the impact of your customers on social media.

ID-10067373 David Castillo DominiciSo you have to enhance and manage your customer relationships.

How?

Better business performance results when CEOs show leadership in providing the best-possible customer experience.

Confirmed in a global study, companies profit most by investing in customer engagement.

You can begin by taking advantage of customer feedback. So you have to ask them their opinions by starting a conversation.

By engaging your customers, it will sustain your business for the future. You’ll learn valuable perspectives.

Customers might not be buying from you for the emotional reasons you think. Remember, all buying decisions are based on emotion – the intrinsic value customers perceive about your offerings.

They might have practical utilitarian reasons for buying gadgets or they might buy products for talking points with visitors to their homes to show how hip they are.

Other insights

Another benefit of customer engagement: You’ll get insights on what else to put in your inventory and how you can best show your appreciation for their patronage.

If you’re not a great steward of your current book of business, it’s futile to look for new customers.

The quickest way for established businesses to optimize revenue is to have a stellar customer-loyalty program for repeat sales and referrals. So take steps to energize your customer-loyalty program.

Incidentally, the fourth quarter is particularly challenging for restaurants. Their revenue has been plummeting after Thanksgiving – as high as 45 percent.

So, restaurant owners must double-down on customer loyalty strategies to improve sales in Q4.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

-Bill Gates

After all, you should be focuses on five elements:

  1. Provide stellar customer service
  2. For expensive products, make your customers feel appreciated
  3. Obtain customer feedback
  4. Brand with salient messages of value
  5. Encourage word-of-mouth advertising to attract to customers

Despite all the emphasis on speed in customer service, it’s not the salient factor in keeping customers happy. A study confirms that the power of emotion is most important in determining why your customers stay or leave.

It’s a worthy investment of your resources in time, energy and money.

Customer feedback

Customers are delighted to give you feedback. If you get it, it will positively affect your product and service research, development, and innovation.

Here are four key questions to ask:

  1. Why did you make this purchase?
  2. What value are you getting?
  3. What do you like or dislike about it?
  4. What other products and services would you appreciate?

Admittedly, the questions aren’t complex market research. They’re questions to generate qualitative answers. What you need immediately for growth is qualitative information, not quantitative.

Up next is quantitative data in the form of answers from customers on your Web site, customer surveys and questionnaires.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related articles:

Tech Checklist to Provide the Best Customer Support — Ever wonder why big chains – from quick-service restaurants to electronic products – print invitations on sales receipts to entice customers to go the companies’ Web sites to comment online? They’re doing it for customer engagement. Businesses need insights on how they’re faring with customers.

10 Innovation Tips to Boost Your Long-Term Customer Base — Businesspeople are constantly under pressure. Daily events make it challenging to make critical decisions for financial sustainability. Businesses must innovate to survive. Here are 10 key questions to ask about your business.

14 Tips to Profit from Online Customer Reviews — For competitiveness and profits, businesses can’t afford to ignore the potential of online reviews. They’re a factor in revolutionizing commerce.

How Retailers Can Improve Operations for Profits — Many retailers could turn their operations into higher profits, if they do a better job of utilizing their customers’ data according to a study. That includes adequately learning insights by better engaging their employees who deal with customers on a regular basis.

Marketing Tips via Mobile Devices, Reviews, Coupons — Digital marketing opportunities keep growing and growing. For instance, 70 percent of consumers research product reviews while they shop in stores. Ninety percent are relying on their mobile devices as they make in-store buying decisions.

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”

-Bill Gates


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy David Castillo Dominici at www.freedigitalphotos.net

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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.