2013 is the International Year of Statistics according to the American Statistical Association. Bloomberg speculates 2013 will be the Year of Retail Turnaround. Forbes says 2013 will be the Year of the Gold Rush thanks to the increased popularity of crowdfunding. Internet marketing professionals have declared it the year of the Online Writer.
What will 2013 represent for your company? Now is the time to consider the possibilities and outline strategies to accomplish your goals. A great one to consider is the Year of the Customer. Make this the year customer service becomes your top priority – above increased margins, above revenue goals, above increased marketshare. Make it your goal for your customers to feel appreciated and respected. Train your sales staff and customer service representatives to be the best they can be. Make sure you are delivering a quality and valuable product, not for your own gratification, but for your customers. Do everything in your power to make your customers happy, and you will see the rewards in the form of increased customer loyalty and great word-of-mouth advertising. With a concentrated effort, you will see those increased margins, revenues, and marketshare. Happy customers are more inclined to continue doing business with you again and again.
You could take this idea one step further, and make 2013 the Year of the Customer Experience. This would include improving every step of your customer’s experience with your company. Does your website function well on tablet computers? Have you made coupons or weekly sales ads easily available on mobile phones? Do you have someone in charge of quick, courteous, and helpful responses to social media inquiries? Are your stores clean, modern, fully stocked and well-staffed? Do your customers leave your establishment with joy and enthusiasm about your products, or do they leave in frustration? Examine your business from top to bottom from the perspective of your customer’s experience, and you may have eye-opening revelations that truly make 2013 the Year of the Customer. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to your business, and keep notes when you’re doing business elsewhere. See what the competition is doing that could be used in your business, and note the small things that would have made your experience even a little better.
At NBRI, we recommend using a customer satisfaction survey to understand how your customers feel about their experience with your business. Then, create an action plan to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction. Finally, resurvey periodically to gauge and fine tune the success of your improvement initiatives. Contact us today to ensure that this year is the Year of the Customer in your business.