To Reach Your Highest Potential Look For Ways To Be A Blessing

happy customer 2

“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.” – Henry Ford

ARE YOU CERTAIN THAT ALL YOUR customers are completely happy? If you are not, why not? The most important responsibility you have as a retail owner is to make certain that every single person who comes into contact with your business isn’t merely satisfied; they have to be delighted. In the majority of cases, the sad reality is that customers are left with either a feeling of apathy or disappointment. Here are some personal examples.

While giving me a haircut last Wednesday, my hairdresser told me that she had been invited to a wedding and needed to buy a gift. “Why don’t to you try to find something from Myer” I suggested. “You can never find anyone to serve you”, she replied. I have heard this same complaint before. I have heard it too many times… and this situation frustrates me because I care about Myer and I expect it to be better. What is the point of spending even one dollar to attract customers only to disappoint them when they try to buy from you?

Last week I applied to have my home phone number entered into the Do Not Call Register. Many of the nuisance calls I received were from phone companies trying to offer me a better deal. The key point here is that at no time did I receive a call from my existing phone company! Optus CEO Kevin Russell was refreshingly frank when interviewed on the ABC’s Inside Business this weekend.

Mr. Russell described how the commonly used customer metric, the net promoter score, showed support for Australian telcos had continued to plummet. He said five years ago the average for the Australian telcos was minus 31, and now it is minus 41. In the UK the score has risen from minus 18 to plus 20, and in the US from minus 19 to plus 24. Optus’s score was slightly better than the Australian average at minus 24.

”It’s better than the industry … we’re arguably the best of a bad bunch,” he said. “It’s not good enough. “Three things we got wrong. I think the whole market has chased customers, we’ve chased sales ahead of looking after existing customers and at times that has meant that new customers frankly get better deals than loyal existing customers. “Sales… have not been controlled as tightly as they should have been, and I think too much investment has gone into buying customers and not enough investment into improving service.” I can only wonder how Kevin Russell’s predecessor, Paul O’Sullivan and the rest of the Optus management hierarchy, – and for that matter the management hierarchy of every other Australian telco – can justify their extremely inflated salaries.

Finally, let me leave you with this thought.

According to the ABS, cat. no. 4102.0 – Australian Social Trends, March Quarter 2012, in 2010, the median length of marriage before separation was 8.8 years. IF A COUPLE, presumably deeply in love, stands in front of their nearest and dearest family and friends, and swears that they will remain joined together in marriage ”until death do us part” yet on average in a mere handful of years separates, how tenuous is the relationship you have with your customers?

Leon Skaliotis

Leon Skaliotis is Founder and Principal Advisor of Retail Fundamentals. With over 30 years experience in specialty retail, hospitality, financial, franchising and advertising industries services, Leon has gathered, learned and distilled the best ideas, practice, systems, techniques, strategies and success principles that have made average businesses great, and struggling business owners realize good health, wealth and prosperity.
Together with his own knowledge and experience, Leon can draw on the expertise of many partners, (each an expert in their own field), to consult business owners and advise on ways to grow revenue through building, analysing, and improving customer experience programs, supplier relationships, financial advice, exit strategies, staff acquisition and retention, and internal and external marketing strategies.

Leon Skaliotis
M: 0425 833 344
E: leon@retailfundamentals.com.au

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One thought on “To Reach Your Highest Potential Look For Ways To Be A Blessing

  1. Veronica

    Love this! More businesses need to be better aware of how to make their customers happy; It’s the only way to ensure that the customer will return. They may think It’s okay to be rude or unhelpful to ONE customer, since they get so many a day. But that ONE customer will eventually turn to many and after awhile, whose going to want to return?

    I was recently in a restaurant, and after eating my appetizers and then getting my entree, it was extremely undercooked. I told the waiter, and his reply was, “well you’re probably not hungry anymore, that’s why you don’t like it”. I was appalled, and asked to speak to the manager. The manager wasn’t too friendly himself, but he did give me a refund on the meal. Would I go back there again? No, absolutely not. That’s not the way to conduct business.

    These business owners/workers need to have a better understanding of how to retain business, or they will lose it. Very insightful post.