The success of any business depends on (1) how many products and services it sells to people, (2) how many satisfied customers/clients the business has created, and (3) how many new customers/clients are referred to the business by existing, satisfied customers (as well as new clients from external marketing campaigns). Word of mouth – positive or negative – can make or break any business.
In financial terms, success or failure is simple and clear:
Either an organization has more revenue than expenses or more expenses than revenue. Revenue is determined by sales of its products and services to customers and clients. And, sales grow if there is excellent word of mouth from happy clients.
There are three things a business must provide to each and every customer and client in order to grow customer loyalty, sales, and revenues:
- Provide an excellent product or service (end result) that customers or clients want, are willing to pay for, are happy with, and which improves their quality of life;
- Provide high-level, genuine 5-Star Service. This includes being helpful to customers/clients, taking care of them, answering their questions to their satisfaction, resolving problems fast, making them feel like welcome guests, etc.
- Excellent Communication. This includes talking to each customer or client as a real person, finding out what each person really wants, finding out what is important to each person, finding out each person’s goals, fears, concerns, needs, etc. Excellent communication also includes being genuinely interested in each person and communicating that way. Understand what the person wants and then deliver that, as much as technically possible. Listen to each person, understand his or her situation, concerns or needs.
These three ingredients are actually connected, and cannot be separated. Customers and clients demand and expect all three things from any business. Therefore, these three will be referred to as the Success Triangle:
The better the quality of the product, the more people will purchase that product.
The better the service to customers and clients, the more loyal they will remain to the organization, and the more repeat business they will bring to the organization.
The better the communication with customers and clients – during the sales process, during any training required, post-sale follow-ups, surveys, and resolution of problems – the happier and more loyal are the customers and clients, and they will provide good word of mouth and refer more and more people to the business.
An average product, average service, and average communication will result in a mediocre or even unsuccessful group.
This relationship is shown graphically below:
Hundreds of surveys of millions of people over many years have shown two important facts:
- A customer or client who is dissatisfied with a business’s product or service will tell an average of 8-12 people about their negative experience.
- A happy, satisfied customer or client tells only 1-3 people on average, about how good their experience was.
Why is this? Because, unfortunately, it is human nature to dwell on negatives more than positives.
Let’s say you have a job that interacts with the public and customers, and you had a busy day where you dealt with 20 people. If 18 of these people were friendly and easy to work with, while the other 2 were negative and difficult, who will you think about, what will you go home and talk about? You will think and talk about the 2 negative people out of 20, even though the other 18 people were pleasant. This is human nature in action.
This same trait applies to your customers or clients. Dissatisfied customers tell more people about their negative experiences than satisfied customers tell others about their positive experiences.
Therefore, these study results tell us that our companies better keep the number of dissatisfied customers and clients as low as possible, and keep happy customers and clients as high as possible.
There is no substitute for outstanding, excellent, friendly and professional service. Each and every team member who comes into contact with the public are to be friendly and helpful at all times, to all customers, clients and prospective customers who call or show up at your business.
No matter what kind of person your people are dealing with, they must be friendly and helpful at all times.
Your people should be genuinely interested in and care about each customer/client/prospect they interact with. It doesn’t matter what the other person’s personality is, we can always find something to be interested in about each and every person. Care that they get the best product and service. Care that they are communicated to well. Care that they are treated like family.
Any organization should deliver only the highest quality product. “Highest quality” has become an over-used marketing cliche and can mean different things depending on the market the organization is in. Whatever highest quality means in your field or market, the product your organization produces and sells truly and actually should be of the highest quality and not just a marketing motto.
The ultimate test and measure of the end results produced by an organization is this: Are your clients happy with your product and service, will they buy more, and will they recommend your product or service to their friends, family, and co-workers?
An electronics company might produce the most amazing, the most wonderful, the all-time greatest black-and-white-picture television ever made. But how many people would buy it today?
Or, you might produce a truly excellent product that lots of people want, but if your customer service and communication are so poor that people are turned off badly, they eventually buy elsewhere.
So the end result of satisfied, happy, loyal clients for life who refer other clients is an end result that every single organization must define for itself and have as their central focus.
Every job in the company is then worked out so as to contribute to this end result.