Peak Your Profits: A little extra
As a successful business pro, you should never stop focusing on expense reduction, market penetration, product improvements, cash flow and increasing earnings.
Yet, you must realize that perhaps the greatest contributor to your profitable growth and your bottom line is customer or client satisfaction. Customers may not demand perfection, but they do demand satisfaction.
Always treat customers how “they” like to be treated. Jack Wilson, my video publisher, would often say, “CS equals CS. Common sense equals customer service.” And common sense tells you selling, marketing or negotiating without serving is a dangerous game play. Because the penalties are severe.
And the penalties aren’t measured in yardage, points or minutes. The penalties are measured in dollars. Especially dollars being lost.
Companies and employees with a poor commitment to service are not only losing customers, but, unwittingly, they’re preparing to lose their businesses. For without a profitable customer, you won’t have a profitable business.
Customer service must become an immediate priority for you and everyone in your organization. And the time for that prioritization is now.
Consider this study by U.S. News & World Report that shows how and why companies lose customers. Customer are lost because:
- One percent die.
- Three percent move away.
- Five percent form other friendships or business relationships.
- Nine percent switch for competitive reasons.
- 14 percent are lost because of product dissatisfaction.
- 68 percent quit doing business with a company because they perceive an attitude of indifference toward them by some employee.
That’s right, 68 percent of your customers could potentially stop doing business with you, not because your product is inferior or your location is inconvenient, but, instead, because you or your people, simply look, sound and act like you just don’t care. It’s shocking, but absolutely true.
A customer makes one buying decision at a time, but this “decision” is made repeatedly, for months, years or even decades. Unfortunately, a lost customer rarely returns.
A BUSINESS IS LONELY WITHOUT CUSTOMERS
While walking through a store, I overheard a conversation between two customer service representatives. One said to the other, “This would be a great job, if it weren’t for all these customers.”
The problem with his statement is twofold: First, he truly didn’t understand what his role is: to serve his customers. And second, and perhaps the greatest violation, is that his management or leaders don’t communicate to him and his fellow employees the significance and value of their customers.
In your competitive marketplace, the companies with great customer service prosper. They survive and thrive. To be one of these companies, service must be an essential part of your culture. Outstanding and profitable service does more than simply enhance your image, it improves your top and bottom lines.
A workshop participant once said to me, “You can get your prospect’s attention with price, but you can only earn their loyalty through care and service.”
Management guru Peter Drucker declared more than 40 years ago, “The only valid definition of business purpose is to create a satisfied customer.” Drucker’s axiom is timeless. It should be observed, internalized and mastered. Then, it will pave the way to your more favorable and profitable future.
So how can you and your people continually deliver great service? It won’t be accomplished with the creation of a customer service desk, a new department or a customer appreciation day. Customer service isn’t about a desk, a department or a day. It’s a philosophy. An attitude. And it must inhabit your culture and your people as it runs throughout your entire organization.
You should always help customers promptly and enthusiastically. You should always be sincere, attentive and caring. Because with this kind of attitude and philosophy to service, you create an abundance of customers for a lifetime of success.
And that success, enables you to peak your profits.
The preceding is an excerpt from the new 5th edition of Jeff’s bestselling book, “Peak Your Profits.” It’s scheduled for a summer, 2018 release and will be available on Amazon and at your favorite bookstore.
Jeff Blackman is a Hall of Fame speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a "business-growth specialist." If you hire speakers, contact Jeff at 847-998-0688 or firstname.lastname@example.org. And visit jeffblackman.com to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff's free e-letter, The Results Report. Jeff's books include “Stop Whining! Start Selling!” (an Amazon Bestseller) and the soon-to-be released 5th edition, of the bestselling “Peak Your Profits.” You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults.