Win Loyal Customers in Three Simple Steps

Win Loyal CustomersI like coffee. A lot. Okay, I’ll admit it—a freshly brewed cup of java with just the perfect amount of cream and a touch of brown sugar makes my little heart sing. I am also a business refiner who helps people stop losing prospects, customers, and money in their businesses.

Wait a minute . . . what does my love for coffee have in common with business improvement?

Well, the two recently collided when I had a disappointing customer experience with an online business that sells gourmet coffee. This experience in turn proved to be an excellent teaching opportunity, so I decided share it with you here on my blog.

Some time ago, I came across an ad that promised home delivery of fresh gourmet Keurig coffee cups, customizable with different roasts and flavors. I thought to myself, Brilliant! I can pick and choose an assortment of coffee (did I mention coconut-flavored coffee is amazing?) and have it auto-shipped to my house. I will never have to run out last minute to buy coffee again!

It seemed like the perfect solution for a busy coffee lover like me, so I went ahead and ordered the introductory sampler offer. Lo and behold, a few days later, I was savoring some of the best, freshest coffee I had ever tasted. My coffee-lover heart was thrilled and thought I had hit the jackpot. Unfortunately, that thrill was as short-lived as the first box of coffee I consumed.

When the time came for the next round of auto-shipment, I arrived home from a client appointment and found a little pink slip in my mailbox letting me know that there was a package of coffee waiting for me at the post office! I cringed in disbelief. After all, the whole point of having the coffee shipped to me was so I would not have to run out and get it. Now, I would have to find time to drive to the post office and stand in a long line to pick up my coffee.

You see, the coffee company decided that it would be cheapest for them to use USPS to deliver the coffee, not taking into account that this meant their customers would be inconvenienced if they happened to not be home when the coffee arrived. Frustrated and a bit sad about having to give up this delicious coffee, I decided to cancel my auto-ship order because making a post office run every month just wasn’t how I wanted to spend my precious time.

I logged into my customer account and clicked the cancel button. To my amazement, that is all it took to stop the orders! No one bothered to ask why I left. I thought, Wow! What a missed opportunity to retain an ideal customer!

What can you learn from this story to help you improve your own business? Here is a summary of the key action items:

  1. Imagine yourself as a customer in your own business. If you are in charge of a larger enterprise, I recommend you order some of your own products and services and experience the level of service (or lack thereof) you receive. Do the same with your competition. What do they do better than you, and how can you improve your own processes?
  2. Focus on what delights and is convenient for your customer, not what’s easiest or lowest cost for your business. What may save you a buck or two may also cost you a valuable customer—not to mention their referral business!
  3. When customers you value are unhappy or indicate they want to end their business relationships with you, ask why and offer to make changes if appropriate in order to retain their business and strengthen their loyalty to your brand.

However you choose to apply these tips in your business, don’t lose great customers and leave money on the table by neglecting to fine-tune your product or service delivery process.

If you would like additional help in identifying how your business is losing prospects, customers, and money, I invite you to schedule a complimentary strategy call with me. Let’s work together to win loyal customers for your business and add more profit to your bottom line!

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