It was just a few days ago I bumped into a customer I hadn't seen in 5 years. Tammy was now running her own HR consulting practice and seemed to be doing well. It took a moment to get the conversation going but we ended up speaking for almost an hour. She began to share a story about a situation with two of her customers that she was clearly upset about.
These two customers had been the first two clients she brought on early in her company and they had brought her a lot of business. She went on to explain that things had been good for a number of years but changes in her clients business in personnel, strategy and expectations shifted everything.
She soon found that her and her team rather than focusing on the relationship were caught up saving and earning as much as they could from those customers. They felt under threat of cost, competition and revenue. Soon after both companies left to a competitor and she was devastated.
I asked her what she believed the biggest difference was between when she served her customers at the beginning until now. Her answer was communicating the importance of the customer to her business daily.
She knew it right then the problem wasn't the changes, her product or service, the industry although challenging it was the focus in her business. I share this story because if we're honest we can sometimes fall into the trap of having a time to serve our customers and then a time to sell to them. Our customer service can be based on particular circumstances and conditions.
From Tammy's story and personally seeing the customer results from other organisations here are 5 indicators that may lead to the hard truth that you may not be that customer focused.
- How you serve your customers is rarely discussed in sales meetings.
- There are no agreed foundational principles for how you serve your customers that is shared and known throughout your business.
- Your customers never know anything about you accept for what next product or service you're offering.
- You don't actually know what your customers think about you and your service.
- Customer service is a follow up to find out what they need rather than to find out who they are and how they are.
3 customer service stats you should take seriously
- According to Gartner "80% of your future revenue will come from 20% of your existing customer base."
- According to Lee Research "91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with your organisation again"
- According to Forum Corporation Research, “Almost 70% of the identifiable reasons why customers left typical companies had nothing to do with the product. The prevailing reason for switching was poor quality of service.”
If you want to know how you can transform the relationships of your key customers and create long term predictable sales growth then with over 150 account managers, VP's and consultants sign up to my customer growth email series HERE and you can start the process of learning a new framework of thinking to growth. www.jermaineedwards.com
Founder of the Key Account Hack System - New Key Account thinking that transforms customer relationships and creates predictable sales growth.