Jacky Leonard's blog

Archive entries for: Mar-2011

Who’s the Daddy (or Mummy)? – your customer that’s who…

Categories:  Business Coaching, Effective Communication, Delivering Authentic Customer Experiences

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us – we are dependent on him.”

 

If I asked you to list your company’s assets, would you reel off the items on your balance sheet, or would you put your customers first?  They really do deserve that number one slot; think about it; they are the most important people in your business; your life blood; the means and the reason for your business, not an interruption to it!

When I refer to your customer I mean both the internal and external variety; your employees as well as the paying clients.  If, like me you’ve worked in a contractual situation you may have the additional consideration of a purchasing authority to add to the challenges of managing a team and satisfying an end user.

Each of these ‘customers’ is an important asset.  Love or loathe them, you simply can’t ignore them – without them you don’t exist!

Place customer satisfaction firmly and proudly at the heart of your business so everything you do reflects a desire to provide the best service possible.  Forget how important they are and you may not feel the pain immediately, but it will hurt soon enough.  Attrition can start as a small leak; but trust me; it doesn’t take long before you’ll be haemorrhaging customers and it will take more than a sticking plaster to stem the flow. A high turnover staff can have a dramatic effect on the consistency of your service and will invariably have an impact on your ability to retain customers.  The cost of replacing them (staff and customers) is significant and can eat away at your profits at an alarming rate.

The process of exceptional customer experiences start internally.  You can’t possibly create an inviting, friendly, professional environment if your staff are at war with you and each other.  Any unrest within a team will hang over your business like a dark cloud and is about as easy to get rid of as a bad smell.   So before you consider throwing more resources at attracting new customers it may be worth checking if your internal service strategy is fully functional.

Over the coming months I’ll be focussing on how you can consistently provide exceptional experiences for both your internal and external customers.  For me, exceptional service is simple.  It’s the creation of an environment where staff can’t wait to come to work and customers can’t wait to bring their friends. Simple, but not easy; it requires a passion for people, a desire to make a difference and the energy and commitment to take consistent action.