It’s safe to say that every business has customers. Whether it is a service provider or involves a product at some point in the lifecycle – in other words manufacturing or sales – there must be a customer. To be successful, it is necessary to gain new customers, retain customers, or both. Excellent customer management is key to that endeavor. 

 What is Customer Management? 

 Customer management consists of the processes, systems, practices and applications employed to support current customers and attract new ones.  

 Finding and keeping customers is about successful relationships. Therefore, the more skilled you are with customer management, the better your relationships. It follows, then, that your business will be successful. Technology has made it easy for customers to explore the many options for whatever it is they’re purchasing. It has also given many tools to businesses to create exceptional experiences for customers. Chisel ActionCOACH has many of those customer management Wisconsin tools.  

 What Do Customers Want? 

 High on the list is excellent customer service at all transaction points – from inquiry, to purchase, follow-up and resolution if there are any issues. They want to feel valued and respected. 

 Customers want easy access when they have questions or issues, and want their questions addressed by someone who is knowledgeable about the product or service. Have you ever had the frustration of having called or chatted to ask a question and it’s clear the person is following some sort of flow chart? Or that it’s actually a bot?  

 Transparency is also high on the list. Customers resent feeling mislead or manipulated.  According to PwC, around ⅔ of buyers say that a positive customer care experience largely determines their loyalty to the brand. 

 This is just the tip of the iceberg of customer expectations. There are organizations with vast experience in helping businesses explore all the avenues to successful customer attraction and retention. This approach is much more cost and time efficient than a trial-and-error method. 

 What Does This Mean for Your Business? 

 A 2022 survey of 14,300 consumers and business buyers worldwide to discover the trends shaping the future of customer engagement conducted by Salesforce was quite revealing: 48% of respondents reported they switched brands in the previous year for better customer service.  [Salesforce, “Fifth Edition State of the Connected Customer,” May 13, 2022.]   

 What Should You Do? 

 If You Build It, They Will Come 

 This approach to customer attraction and retention has been the downfall of many businesses. It is the opposite of helping customers feel valued and respected. This may have been at least marginally effective at one time, but customers have innumerable options for products and services. Continual advances in technology – the internet, video calls, and readily available delivery service – have expanded access exponentially. Even businesses once thought to only be available face-to-face such as accounting or tax preparation are easily accomplished remotely. 

 Certainly, there are iconic brands that can ignore concerns about customer retention – Nike, for example . . . On the contrary. An October 2019 article in CCW Digital titled “How Nike Combines Customer Centricity with Brand Reputation to Stay on Top” explains that while competing brands have increased the number of products and distribution outlets, Nike has taken a different approach. “. . . Nike aims to cut down on the number of styles of its products and reduce the number of its retail distributors, in turn increasing its brand’s prestige . . .Beyond strategic distribution and brand protection, Nike is doubling down on the Nike Customer Experience (NCX) as a way to create more personal connections with customers.  

 Customer Management Wisconsin 

 Creating a Customer Centric Culture 

 How do you go about creating a customer centric culture in your business? Interestingly, according to Gallup, customers and employees are intrinsically linked. That may seem obvious on the surface, but it goes much deeper. Increasing customer engagement starts with engaging employees. Decades of research show that customer-employee interactions move the sales needle more than any other single factor. In fact, the primary driver of customer engagement is engaged employees.” The article goes on to say that engaged employees create engaged customers, and that when employees are “quietly quitting” customers are, too. 

 It seems that the first step in attracting and retaining customers is to create engaged employees. Engagement is not the same as satisfaction. An employee may feel satisfied with the status quo at work, but that is not enough to engage customers. Engaged employees are coached and nurtured by leaders who have received the correct coaching.  And no longer should you assume that a satisfied customer is a loyal customer. They need to be engaged.  

 There are many resources available to guide you through creating an engaged employee culture that in turn will create a customer centric culture. The most effective way to accomplish these two objectives, though, is connecting with a highly respected and relatable coach. Chisel ActionCOACH, customer management Wisconsin, is backed by 20 years of global experience in helping companies with both employee and customer engagement. 

 

Cultivate a Customer-Centric Culture Through Executive Leadership 

 

Make Customer Engagement Your Competitive Edge 

 

A Guide to Managing Customer Relationships 

 

12 Customer Service Expectations Every Business Must Meet in 2024