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Why is the subject of customer service covered so often, by so many, in so many ways? We all agree that customers are vital to the existence of our business. The sad truth is, the majority of customers are still shown very poor or indifferent attitudes by so many businesses.
How important is customer satisfaction in your business? Recently, customers of 3000 American businesses were surveyed to see, from the customer perception, the effects of providing good service or bad service. The results are very interesting.
Those perceived as good could charge an average of 10% more for their product or service. They grew twice as fast as their competition. They improved their market share by 6% per year, whilst the poorly perceived service lost 2% of their market share per year. The survey also showed that 83% of diners did not return to restaurants because of perceived bad service not because of poor food.
How would your business fair under such a test? An article entitled "Companies sink low in customers" esteem" in Business Review Weekly last month indicated that a survey of Australian companies presented a grim picture and whilst this survey was aimed at the major institutions, there is a lesson to be learnt for all of us in business.
Remember it is your customers' perception that really counts. What image does your business present to your customers? Is it one of a stale, stuck-in-the-rut, always-been-like-this image? Or is it exciting, innovative and fresh?
When we have been in business for a while, we tend to become familiar with the way our premises look, the way our staff act and the general routine of our business. Because of this, we no longer see the little things, which are so obvious to our customers and yet mean so much to them. Little things like a friendly greeting, a tidy work area, a good appearance or a positive attitude.
We often accuse our politicians of not listening to us, but could we be guilty of the same fault? We could all listen to our customers more. Ask them through surveys or customer focus groups what they really want from us. Take time today to stand back and look at your image from your customers' view. The statistics above show the effort is worth it. A few small changes will bring big rewards and put you on the road to success.
Copyright © Julian Campbell 2007
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