The corona pandemic has required many businesses (restaurants, hotels and airlines) to temporarily close,or significantly restrict on premise customer presence. This is being done, on the advice of health experts, to prevent the virus from more widespread transmission.
While the health implications have forced some businesses to lock out customers physically; many other businesses locked out their customers strategically long before the corona virus struck.
There is a difference between a physical lockout and a strategic lockout.
US organizations were on track to lose 62 billion dollars to poor customer service this year, BEFORE the Corona Crisis. This is a financial consequence, and just the tip of the iceberg, when companies don’t make customer service a strategic prioritiy. Losing a customer means you have to win more customers, and acquistion costs are ten times the cost of retaining customers. Today 90% of the customers who leave, do so without complaining to the company, yet 6 out of 10 will tell others about their dissatisfaction. You can do the math – this is upwards of a trillion dollars, nearly a stimulus packet in itself!
Where and how is the customer strategically positioned in your business?
Use these questions in your next executive meeting to answer the question above:
- How often was our customer an agenda item in the past three months?
- To what degree have we encouraged and supported business functions to reach out and create customer experiences for mutual learning? (Yes, right now is a great time to show your intention and commitment to your customers.)
- How well do our internal processes reflect an exceptional end-to-end value generating experience for our customers?
- How has our customer focus improved over the past six months?
- What questions do we use in our engagement surveys to show that the customer is at the center of everything we do?
These questions will get you started. The number one reason that customers leave you is because they do not feel appreciated. You have never had a better time to show your customers you care and want to serve them beyond their expections. Do this, in these times and they will not only remember you, they will also tell others about the ways you work with them.
Put the customer at the center of everything you do, during the crisis, and every day thereafter and you will have customers for life.
Photo Credit: Noah Norenberg @ www.noahnorenberg.com