Jeffrey Wire

    Jeffrey Wire

    Fixed Right First Time Specialist at Volkswagen Group of America

    Published Apr 26, 2016

    While I'm sure there are parts of the country where people go to bed and don't have to lock their doors at night. I'm also pretty sure most people do. It just makes sense, doesn't it? Even though you live in a pretty safe place, why take a chance?

    It's the same with your customers. Even though you're probably pretty sure your customers will remain your customers, why take the chance?

    I posed this same question to a business owner the other day, because we were talking about customer retention. He believes that customer retention is not an active process, that it happens because customers are happy, or get a great value from doing business with him. I say, customer retention is the responsibility of every person, place or thing the customer interacts with, when doing business with you.

    If you have a great product, or create tremendous value for your customers, but they can't make an appointment easily with you, isn't this is a potential problem? If you have to send a customer to do business with a vendor of yours, and the experience isn't pleasant, doesn't it reflects poorly on your business? We mystery shop our own businesses, but have you ever mystery shopped one of your vendors? What about your bookkeeping department? Have you ever mystery shopped them? Why, you ask?

    Suppose there's extensive paperwork in what you sell? Suppose, your customer is due a refund or they owe some additional fee? Wouldn't you want to know that the person contacting your customer, shared the same values about customer retention that you do? Wouldn't you want them to know how much a customer is worth to your business, as long as they remain a customer?

    I'm sure everyone reading this, can site an example of a time, when the experience or expectation of how something should go, is much different than what really happened. I'll give you a personal example.

    Many years ago, when I was working in a dealership as the wholesale parts manager, I secured the business of a customer that brought in a lot of parts sales. They applied for and were given a line of credit. After about 6 months into the relationship, the owner called me and told me he was terminating the business relationship. When I asked him why, he told me his staff was done dealing with the rude people in our office? When I asked him to elaborate, he told me that for the last 3 months, someone in our office was calling him weekly to find out when we were going to be paid, and not in a polite manner. He explained that we would get all our money, but that sometimes, especially on larger repairs, it may be after the 15th of the month before we were paid, but that we would always be paid by the end of the following month.

    Now, obviously I see both sides of this situation. The office wanted the money and the business owner wanted his parts. My point in telling this story, is that both sides wanted something they could have had, but because the office handled it poorly, neither side got it.

    But, in my opinion, it hurt us more. Getting and keeping customers is what we need to do in business everyday. It needs to be the most important part of everyone's job in whatever business they're in. Work in the office? Focus every interaction with your customer on making sure they remain your customer. Work in sales? Focus your attention on making sure the other sales persons customers have a pleasant experience. Answer the phones? The receptionist position, in my opinion, is one of the most, if not the most, important position in any business. How that phone gets handled, is critical to getting and keeping customers. The CEO is important, sales people are important, the bookkeepers are important, but if the receptionist is rude and can't get people to visit your business, the other people in your business won't have much to do. The same thing with your website. It may be effective in getting people to come to your business, but once they're there, if you don't handle things properly, think they'll be back?

     Action Ideas for Improving Customer Retention:

    • Look Inside First - Mystery shop all departments and find out how your customers are treated. Ask your employees what types of experiences other businesses have provided to them and how they could have been treated better. Build a journal of experiences and use this feedback internally to improve your business.
    • Then Look Outside - Examine the routine things your business does, from answering the phone to delivering your product and find ways to improve or innovate. Ask your customers, how their experience could have been better. Dominos Pizza for example, discovered by asking, that getting a pizza delivered while it was still hot, was an industry problem. This prompted them to innovate and develop the Dominos guarantee "Hot, Fresh pizza, delivered in 30 minutes or less, or it's FREE". I'm not suggesting that FREE is always the answer, but you won't know what the solution needs to be, until you know what the problem is.
    • Find ways to communicate better with your customers. Not just try to sell them something. Use newsletters, birthday cards, anniversary cards, have contests, hold focus groups, have a rewards program, have a picnic for them. There are all kinds of ways to improve your relationship with your customers. You just have to get to doing it, instead of talking about it.

    Getting an keeping customers is your company's and employees responsibility. You can have help, but when you lay your head down on your pillow at night, make sure you've locked all your doors and make sure you've locked up your customers too.

    Explore topics

    Do you lock your doors at night?
    It's highly recommended that you lock your house at night because it deters opportunistic burglars and potential attackers. It also keeps your vulnerable loved ones inside, especially sleepwalkers and small children. Locking up prevents dangerous animals or weather conditions from ruining your home. more
    Should you leave crate door open at night?
    After an hour or so, if he is quiet and settled in the crate, open the door. Remember, when letting him out of the crate, do not say anything, just open the door. At night, move the crate to your bedroom, ask the puppy to go inside, turn off the lights, and ignore any crying. more
    Should you lock puppy crate at night?
    Your puppy's crate should never be a place of punishment. It should be associated with good things, like nap time and meals. Feed your puppy his or her meals in the crate, and lock him or her there over night so he/she gets used to sleeping there. more
    Is landlord responsible for broken door lock?
    Landlords are responsible for providing secure doors, windows and locks. So in most cases, the landlord is responsible for fixing a broken key. more
    Should you lock your bedroom door at night?
    It is highly recommended to shut all bedroom entries each night while sleeping. Closed doors slow the spread of flames and smoke in case of fire. They also help block noises that can inhibit a good night's sleep. In addition, it allows for faster reaction times to possible intruders in the home. more
    Should you answer your door at night?
    Do NOT answer the door in the middle of the night, or early morning. Once you commit to unlocking and opening your door you have, at the very least even the odds for the person in front of you. If there are more than the one you see, you have tipped the odds unevenly in their favor, even if you are armed. more
    How do you lock a door without a lock?
    10 Brilliant Ways to Lock a Door Without a Lock
    1. DIY Locks for Temporary Security. 1/11. Locks have long been considered the best method for securing a door.
    2. Doorstop. 2/11.
    3. Back of a Chair. 3/11.
    4. Belt or Rope. 4/11.
    5. Portable Door Lock. 5/11.
    6. Security Bar. 6/11.
    7. Fork. 7/11.
    8. Door Jammer. 8/11.
    Do hotels lock front doors at night?
    Yes they are locked. Your key will gain access or speak to the doorman. If you are thinking of getting one of your tricks in, tough luck. over a year ago. more
    Who has a lock but no door?
    What has a lock but no door? Amazon Quiz Answer more
    How can I lock my bedroom door from the outside without a lock?
    Without further ado, let's see the best tried-and-tested ways to lock any door without a lock quickly and easily.
    1. Use a Wedge to Lock a Door.
    2. Lock a Door With a Fork.
    3. Put a Chair Under the Door Handle.
    4. Use a Belt to Lock a Door.
    5. Portable Door Lock: Extra Security In Seconds.
    6. Use a (Portable) Security Bar to Keep a Door Shut.
    Do hotels lock front doors at night?
    Yes they are locked. Your key will gain access or speak to the doorman. If you are thinking of getting one of your tricks in, tough luck. over a year ago. more


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