Businesses that provide great customer service can be identified by observing the behavior of their customers. Do customers patronize a business by default, or do they explore all other options first? Do customers enthusiastically recommend a business to friends, family, and colleagues? Do customers react to performance claims made by the business with deep skepticism? If patrons have genuinely positive feelings about their interactions with a service provider, it is an indicator that the company provides great customer service.
The objective of great customer service is to produce loyal customers – those that return regularly, and bring others with them, without significant additional effort or expenditure. Customer acquisition costs can become burdensome if customer retention rates are low. Improving customer service quality is a cost-effective approach to increasing customer retention (i.e. loyalty), thereby reducing customer acquisition costs.
Entertainment, Education, Marketing, or Benchmarking? Yes!
The summer vacation season is under way. If you have openings in your vacation agenda, or are looking for mini-vacation ideas, you may want to consider “tourism factories.” These include plant tours, participatory agricultural and culinary experiences, and other tourist services that connect consumers to products in unique ways.
Tourism factories serve varying interests of visitors and hosts. Whether it serves to open a new communication channel between a company and its customers, reinforce a marketing message, provide an educational opportunity, or simply satisfy the curiosity of inquisitive types, a well-designed tourist experience can be an incredibly valuable asset for many types of businesses. Increasing numbers of these tourist experiences are available as business leaders around the world recognize their potential.
As you celebrate the nation’s independence this week, also take time to consider on what and whom your business or career depends. Celebrate the people – employees, coworkers, customers, suppliers, and so on – that help you thrive. If you are dealing with unreasonable demands from customers or suppliers, a toxic work environment, oppressive management, or other spirit-crushing situation, I encourage you to declare your independence!
Free yourself from the unnecessary constraints that others place on you personally or professionally. I am not offering empty platitudes, nor am I suggesting it will always be easy. It can often be difficult; there may be times that the toxicity seems necessary – or at least acceptable – in order to sustain your livelihood. It is in those moments that unreasonable people have the greatest opportunity to take advantage of you. Expelling those people will allow you to focus on developing positive relationships that make your career or business more profitable and more enjoyable.
Though the transformation may be difficult or feel unnatural, the renewed vigor and peace of mind that typically result will be worth every bit of effort expended. If you would like help writing your own declaration or guidance through the transformation, contact JayWink Solutions, an independent consulting and training organization.
Happy Independence Day!
Jody W. Phelps, MSc, PMP®, MBA
JayWink Solutions, LLC
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