I was recently recording some videos for the soon to be launched ‘Slow Sellers Association’, and we were covering the issue of after-sales and customer loyalty.
It strikes me from my experiences as a customer that this is an area where so many businesses fail miserably.
In fact, I think this is perhaps the biggest hidden cost and missed opportunity out there for most organisations.
For example: a few years ago, we were lucky enough to go skiing in a beautiful chalet in Switzerland. We had a lovely week and developed really good relationships with the chalet manager, the chef and the housekeeper. At the end of our stay, we were handed a piece of paper to write down our feedback and asked to hand this paper back to the team.
Notwithstanding our reluctance to say anything negative because of our good relations, we gave very shallow (and pointless and frustrating) feedback, omitting anything that could have been improved (and there’s always one or two things, no matter how great you people are), and that’s the last we heard of them.
- No: ‘Thankyou for your feedback’
- No: ‘Would you like to join our loyal customer club’
- No attempt at all to listen or value us.
And, low and behold, the next thing we heard from them was a deluge of salesy marketing messages by email to try and get us to book a holiday the following year.
Needless to say, we haven’t booked with them again, and we went elsewhere for our next holiday … but we would have liked to book again, if they’d made it easy and attractive and demonstrated a little bit of care.
If they had just slowed down and:
- Asked for permission to call us for feedback the week after our holiday
- Done the feedback professionally using a proven system
- Thanked us for our help and told us what they were doing with what we’d fed back
- Invited us to join a customer loyalty club where we’d get exclusive early deals for each subsequent season, and perhaps other inexpensive but thoughtful upgrades.
I’m sure we would have booked again the next year.
And the ridiculous thing is that it’s easy and cheap to do properly! All it takes is a bit of slowing down and focusing on how important and profitable this area can be for a business.
I’ve recorded a podcast that explains a bit more… Please click here to listen to it.
Now, if you do the maths, you can see how:
- Expensive it is to lose a customer who’s already paid the ultimate compliment of buying from you, for the sake of a little bit of subsequent care and attention
- Great the opportunity is to do this differently from everyone else and develop a top class ‘after-sales’ system to build relationships, loyalty, reputation and referrals
In fact, research from leading businesses show amazing figures on this. For example:
- 4 out of 5 customers who are merely ‘satisfied’ will choose someone else to spend their money with next time (we were ‘satisfied’ with our holiday, but didn’t rebook the next year)
- More than 9 out of 10 customers won’t tell you when there’s something that you need to change in order to get them to want to come back to you: they’ll just tell their friends and they’ll go somewhere else next time
So: getting this wrong may well be costing you the loss of between 8 and 9 out of every customer over the long term … and this is hidden (the accountants won’t pick this up) but massive and unnecessary!
I hope you find this short recording interesting and helpful. Please do let me know and share your thoughts on this important issue.
To listen to the Podcast on this subject, please click below:
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