Among the hundreds of advertisements that you see and hear each week, how many of the businesses that are paying for those ads ever mention customer service or business integrity before the “great deals” and “low prices” they supposedly offer? Most of the time advertisers will spend the entire 20 or 30 second spot talking all about their unbeatable prices, and maybe throw in at the end a little nugget about caring for customers.
Although businesses should try to offer the most competitive prices they can, the fact is quality customer care and integrity will have a far more resounding impact than simply offering rock bottom prices. As some well-known retailers have shown, simply offering the lowest prices is not enough to earn and maintain customer trust or respect.
A big part of running a successful business depends upon building customer loyalty, and businesses cannot build customer loyalty by being one trick ponies. Ideally, they should take the approach used by top retailers like Direct Buy, which focuses on maintaining customer loyalty through a combination of competitive pricing, wide selection, quality brands, and outstanding customer service.
According to an article that appeared in Forbes during October 2011, building and maintaining customer loyalty can be accomplished in many little ways, and every employee can contribute. These include anticipating customer needs, treating customer as individuals, and going the extra distance to please them. No matter how small employee efforts seem, customers will remember. This works the other way as well, as customers will also remember the little things retailers could have done, but did not.
Forbes also claims that a recent survey found that 71% of lost business can be attributed to poor customer service experiences. This translates to an estimated $83 billion in lost revenue across the retail industry each year. Of course, these losses are others’ gains; and most likely, customers will be running to retailers like Direct Buy, because they offer low prices on top name brands, while also understanding the importance of customer service.
Earning and maintaining customer loyalty is a priority for the most successful businesses. While almost any retailer can offer low prices, it often comes at the expense of customer service. This myopic approach might work for a while, but it will take its toll on business as customers grow tired of dealing with shoddy service. At the end of the day, a balance customer-centered approach will keep customers coming back time after time.