Sometimes we think a customer who continues to do business with us is a loyal customer. A loyal customer is not only one who keeps returning but also tells others about their positive experiences with your company. Sometimes, what appear to be loyal customers are simply “retained” customers. To illustrate, let me discuss my current bank. I will likely stay with my current bank. I have loans with them, both business and personal. I have several credit cards and, of course, checking accounts. So they count me as a loyal customer I suspect, I am more a “retained” customer. Why? It is too difficult, time-consuming and costly to switch.Read More
With all the talk of social media and its importance in marketing and lead development, sometimes the importance and value of the sales representative in the B-to-B environment are overlooked. This concept was reinforced to me this week while working on a project for a client.
We conduct product delivery surveys for this client, and these surveys are designed to measure customer satisfaction with the product and their sales process. Our client, like many, has a network of dealers that sell and support their products to the end-user. They wanted to know which of the questions on the survey were most strongly correlated with overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend.Read More
In this blog, I want to share how one company, Carocon Corporation, has created client loyalty in an industry not know for much loyalty.
Carocon Corporation is the fourth largest apartment contractor in the US. They build over 2,600 apartment units annually. I have had the privilege of working with the company since early 2000 and currently serve on its board of directors.Read More
In the past, I have written about the importance of consistency in delivering a great service experience. In my opinion, you will likely win at the service game if you deliver good, no great, customer service consistently (rather than having it great one time, average the next, and not-so-good the next time). I want to highlight a critical component of delivering consistently great customer service which is not taking loyal customers for granted.Read More
“What’s wrong with an 8?! Some people just don’t give 9’s and 10’s.”
I’ve heard this question a lot from companies who measure customer loyalty using a 1-10 rating scale. It’s a common hot-button issue worth exploring.
And the survey says… mehRead More
Almost every day we read about another merger or acquisition. For example, Bunzl, a London-based logistics and distribution company, made 22 acquisitions just last year, and AB InBev is moving closer to joining with SAB Miller. Yet, a recent Gallup organization study caused me to consider the limits of a growth strategy designed by acquisitions versus one based on organic expansion.Read More
I recently had the opportunity to visit one of our client's service and sales location. I particularly wanted to meet the team at this agricultural equipment dealer because of their sound performance on our survey program. After spending several hours there, I came away with several observations.
First, they have designed their processes to actually serve customers. Second, employees appeared quite engaged in what they were doing. Lastly, there was a palpable sense of pride in what they were doing. The visit provided many insights into how to deliver excellent customer service.Read More
I do not want this post to be seen as a screed against Windstream. It is not an attempt at some type of “payback.” Rather, it is a brief case study on how to take a perfectly loyal customer and turn them into something else. In the parlance of some, I became a “customer assassin.”Read More
In many business-to-business markets, value-added distributors are used to get products to the end-user. Well-known companies such as Grainger, Fastenal, and Ferguson Supply are examples of distributors that offer a broad range of products to a wide variety of industries. Such companies are typically non- or low-valued added distributors. They stock inventory from a variety of suppliers, market it to the end customer and typically provide product delivery.Read More
When a customer gives you the highest possible scores on satisfaction and loyalty, it’s understandable that you may feel compelled to declare victory and shift your attention to the next relationship. Time to break out the champagne! Unfortunately, you may want to wait before popping the cork. We find that in a surprising number of the surveys we perform, highest-score customers also offer negative feedback in their open-ended comments. So, while you may have scored a 10-out-of-10, your work is not yet done.Read More