Here's our latest 'guest post'. This one is from Anna Miller over in Houston. It's all about focusing on your customers. Thanks Anna!
When it comes to business, you need to know how to deal with not just your customers but also your competition. If you look more closely, you'll see that the two are inter-related. The connection may not always be obvious, but it does exist at various levels. Most businesses are either too focused on their customers or too busy watching what the competition is up to - they don't realize that the former is tied to the latter and that they must monitor both carefully if they are to remain at the top or even do reasonably well.
Your customers come to you for various reasons:
- You satisfy their needs
- Your services/products are cost-effective and/or of good quality
- They have no alternative but to stick with you because of certain factors (you may hold a kind of monopoly)
They go over to the competition if:
- They are unsatisfied with your services/products
- They are unhappy with the customer service provided
- They wish to try out the competition
- The competition has an offer they cannot refuse
Now your goal should be to retain your existing customers, ensure that they do not move to the competition, and try to win new customers to your fold. To do this, you have to:
- Ensure that the quality of your products/services is excellent
- Set reasonable and affordable prices
- Address customer complaints immediately and effectively.
- Introduce new schemes that will entice new customers and keep your old ones happy
- Promote loyalty bonuses and incentives
In today's economic climate where the competition is tough, you need to focus more on retaining your existing customer base for two reasons:
- To safeguard the profits you already have
- To ensure that your customers spread your business through word of mouth marketing - people tend to believe their relatives and friends rather than random advertising spiel from the company.
Organizations lose their customers when they fail to take care of their problems and solve them immediately and efficiently. People are not too bothered about the price they pay for products and services; they are more concerned with the quality of what they pay for and the quality of the customer service that is extended to them. So you're more likely to retain customers if you provide them with quality products and excellent customer service. The service you provide is what keeps them from going to the competition and what makes them recommend you to people they know.
So instead of focusing on the competition and trying to outdo them at every stage, turn to your customers, acknowledge what they want, and provide them with the kind of service that will keep them coming back to you.Link to original post