MonkeyPuzzle Computers: Ilminster, Somerset

Retaining Customers the Easy Way

Two related articles have recently caught my eye. Both concern an apparent lack of regard by big business for their individual customers. And it made me consider whether this is all beginning to change and if so what the end result will be.

We seem to put up with some pretty high levels of poor service in the UK. We perhaps even revel in it and take a perverse pleasure in regaling each other with tales of just how bad customer service can be. There are of course plenty of examples of good customer service, but they seem to shine even more brightly in comparison to the background level of disregard we have come to expect.

The articles in question approach the subject from two entirely separate points of view. The first from Kevin Stirtz on thesocialcusotmer .com uses the oft quoted example of a customer trying their hardest to leave AOL and being thwarted at every turn. Not to denigrate AOL particularly, but it demonstrates a belief by many companies that the best way to retain customers is to make it very difficult for them to leave at all.

The article ably deals with the absurdity in this line of reasoning and takes it to the logical conclusion; that the best way to keep customers is to offer exemplary service and they will actively want to remain your customer. If you make it easy for customers to leave you, you are bound to provide great service or they might just exercise that right. Everybody wins – the customer gets the best you can give and you get committed customers.

The second article, from Claire West on, discusses the all too common situation of having to wait in all day for a delivery to arrive. It seems ridiculous that in this age of tracking technology, mobile communications and online ordering that goods cannot be delivered within a much narrower timeframe. Essentially, it boils down to companies being lazy and getting away with it. Supermarkets are no leading the way with one hour time slots for delivery – hoe long until other suppliers cotton on and give the poor old customer what they want, when they want it.

So, what’s the upshot of all this? Personally, I’ve recently changed my business thinking from what I can offer my clients and how to convince them that it’s best for them, to what does the client want and how I can provide that. And no contracts with three month notice requirements. If your client’s can move elsewhere on one month’s notice, it concentrates the mind on providing excellent service and a great customer experience.

And if this isn’t the beginning of a great sea change in regard to customer service, then it’s going to be the more progressive thinking businesses that will suddenly find customers beating a path to their door and not their competitors.

Added By: Phil Wright on 15th Jun 2010 - 22:11
Last Updated: 15th Jun 2010 - 22:17

Number of Views: 2964
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