opinion

How Treating Customers Right Pays

Stephen Yagielowicz

For adult operators, the top mainstream marketers can provide insights into quality customer care. According to service strategist John Tschohl (www.customerservice.com), speed, price and service form a winning combination that increases customer loyalty and revenues.

Tschohl uses Apple’s retail stores as an example of excellence in customer service; where personal greetings welcome visitors who enjoy the latest products at competitive prices: a winning combination that Tschohl says gives Apple “the highest sales per square foot of any company in the world.”

You must do whatever you can to give customers what they want, when they want it, when you can do something faster than your competitors, you will win the race for customers.

Tschohl also cites the success of online retailer Amazon.com, which saw $41 billion in sales last year, representing a 41 percent increase over its 2010 revenues, as an example of service success.

“Consumers today are busier than at any other time in history,” Tschohl stated. “They’re working longer hours, raising families, and tending to a host of other responsibilities and activities. When they need to make a purchase, they want to do it quickly, and they want to get the best price — and service — possible.”

“Are you meeting those needs for your customers?” he asks, providing a number of guidelines for operators seeking to implement better service policies — including the need for speed and accuracy.

“You must do whatever you can to give customers what they want, when they want it,” Tschohl says. “When you can do something faster than your competitors, you will win the race for customers.”

Tschohl warns that a company’s policies and procedures are a major factor, as many ensure that “one percent of their customers don’t take advantage of them. Meanwhile, the other 99 percent of their customers are frustrated.”

On the subject of pricing and profits, while companies offering premium products can charge more, Tschohl says that eliminating waste and controlling costs can make a firm more competitive; boosting profits even when cost savings are passed on to customers.

“Ask your frontline employees for suggestions on ways to improve productivity and cut costs,” he advises. “They’re the experts, and you will be surprised at the ideas they come up with.”

Speed and cost are not the only factors in pleasing customers, however, as personalized service provides the great consumer experience that is need to create customer loyalty.

“If the service you provide is simply OK, it won’t get you into the game,” Tschohl explains. “You must provide service that is so incredible that people are more than happy to give you their business — and their money.”

In today’s competitive marketplace, where consumers no longer have to pay for access to content they desire, excellent customer service can make the difference between profits and poverty.

“Speed, price, and customer service are the three fundamentals of a successful business,” Tschohl concludes. “Make them a priority and you will increase both your customer base — and your revenues.”

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