Ever see a Buckeye fan at an Ohio State game in the 4th quarter. How about a fan supporting Barcelona in the second half of the UEFA championship?
What if our Customers felt this way about our company?
Your Customers and the relationship you build with them are critical to your company’s success and for you as the leader. The key to this success, based on my 17 years as CEO/President of public and family companies and organizations, is to build up an inspired group of Customer advocates that I simply call ‘Raving Fans’.
Don’t confuse retention with loving you.
It all starts with Customer retention. But it’s not just about that. Because you can have Customer retention and not grow your company. If you want to grow your company, you must continue to invest in new technology and strong people and key programs. Brand loyalty is at risk with digital technologies enabling Customers to easily research and switch to a competitor, so unless you are innovating and investing in better solutions for your Customers, that Customer can easily be gone tomorrow.
Think about yourself. Are you an Apple Customer; maybe one of your friends? Why is it that Apple Customers want everything Apple? Apple has not invented technology, but they have been innovative, and they know their Customers, and they understand the importance of Consumer Experience. I think we can all admit that Apple has developed a group of Raving Fans – Customers obsessed with their latest products and just have to have them!
We need great people
Inspiring Raving Fans in large part, involves people. As I have written about in a couple of recent blogs, our associates and the products and services they develop – are going to create the Customer experience for our company. And our front-line associates and the products they made are touching our Customers many times a day. When you walk into an Apple store, how are you treated? That is an Apple Customer Touch Point. Those Customer Touch Points are where you need to concentrate as a leader. Each Touch is both high risk / high reward. So building associate loyalty and enthusiasm directly translates to improving Customer loyalty and enthusiasm!
We need to invest
Why do we all naturally accept that it is more expensive to win a new Customer than it is to keep one? Is this even true? And if it is true, is it possible more of our investment should be going into the current Customer needs? We cannot just magically create Customer advocates. This take a great product; great service; great solution. And you get that through investment. What if you sold a product and never enhanced it; never supported it?
“To keep a Customer demands as much skill as to win one.”
If we can dedicate more of our leadership time into the areas that drive our Customer’s success and inspiration, and invest in the people and solutions that can help solve our Customer’s challenges, we will unlock the growth potential of your company. By making our company goal to ‘Create Raving Customers’, we set the tone with our associates that the Customer’s success is paramount. Get the whole company pushing in this direction and we can inspire a new level of growth for our company or division and take it all the way to the top!