An article appearing on the Blog providesupport.com opined there are seven reasons why customers are leaving you. In reality there is only one reason a customer ever leaves you – customer service.
Some of the reasons given were obvious customer service failures. For example, “you do not have a strong customer service team” is a direct result of not having a customer service focus in your organization. Likewise, “you do not care about your customer’s needs” again points to an organization that is not fully focused on their customers.
One needs only to look at the battle over public pressure to mandate the goods and services offered by a company. In the 1990s McDonald’s was very keen on reacting to public outcries regarding their menu items. They had it healthier choices, such as frozen yogurt, new oil for their French fries and they converted Styrofoam boxes paper wrappers for their sandwiches. Sales suffered immediately as their customers rejected the new taste of the French fries and were slow to move from milkshakes frozen yogurt.
What McDonald’s had done was listen to public outcry which was nothing more than non-customers trying to tell them how to run their business.
Walmart, on the other hand, facing heavy pressure to drop the sale of firearms made a public statement that showed more concern over their customers than a vocal opposition. Their position was to the customers tell them when it was time to discontinue an item rather than listening to media newscasts. Their growth continued despite public outcry.
Of course sometimes is like a customer focus can come from the top levels of an organization. When Joseph Antonini wanted to take Kmart Corporation from a low-priced discounter to a more upscale chain resembling Target the cash registers indicated this would not be successful. One of the early indicators was a continuing trend of sales within Wrigley’s gum. The number one selling gum at Target was Juicy Fruit while Kmart customers preferred Big Red gum – the same as Walmart’s customers.
Becoming “one” with your customer is a matter of knowing your customer intimately. Is not just about being nice it is about understanding exactly what your customer wants, when they want it, how they want to buy it, what price they are willing to pay and then standing behind their purchases should they not live up to their expectations.