Without customers, a business cannot exist. Unfortunately, many businesses are chasing away their customers daily thus risking their survival. Some are chasing customers away by the negativity displayed by their frontline staff. Others are chasing the customers away by offering sub-standard goods and services thus not meeting the customers’ expectations. Recently I walked into a shop at the mall and I was made to feel unwelcomed. The staff continued chitchatting at the cashier’s counter, they did not bother to welcome me. This is an example of how we chase away our customers before they can even make a purchase. As customers, have you ever felt like the business does not care about you? As a business, are your customers being chased away?
Customers expect to be treated well. This means that when they walk into a shop, supermarket, restaurant, saloon, or banking hall or when they do business with us, they want to feel welcomed and appreciated in addition to finding what they want. The emotional needs of customers surpass their functional needs. It is not enough to get the customer the product or service that they need. That alone is might not make them feel satisfied or make them want to come back. As customers, we like to do business with businesses that treat us well and meet our needs. Customers across industries have many needs that every business and every service provider must to be intentional about meeting. Are you meeting your customer’s needs?
Smart businesses know too well that they should not chase away their customers. Instead, they aim to keep their customers for life. They do all that is in their power to give their customers an end-to-end experience that is worth coming back for. They care about their customers and their business survival. They connect with their customers as people first. They welcome them, they listen to them with understanding, and they make them feel respected and appreciated. This connection goes beyond the transactions, it is emotional and it makes customers want to come back.
If your business hopes to survive into the future, it needs to make every effort to understand its customers and meet their needs. Without clarity on who your customers are, what their needs are and how to meet those needs, you are likely chasing the customers away one after the other. One of the many reasons that most businesses do not survive is a lack of customers. Customers that we chase away are unlikely to recommend others to us. If you want to see your business grow, identify what may be causing customers to go away and never return. Address the sources of customer loss and I promise you that you will see improvements in the business performance. Be the kind of business that chooses to keep customers for life and that makes its customers advocates. Stop chasing away your customers!
Dr Lucy Kiruthu is a Management Consultant and Trainer. Connect via Twitter @KiruthuLucy