Why Customer Care Is the Secret Sauce to Success

By Ann
February 28, 2018

Many companies tolerate poor customer care. Could the damage be $84 billion annually for US companies as some sources claim? 

In a recent trip to an automobile dealer to purchase a car, the sales person stunned me. After a test drive in a pre-owned car with 25,000 miles, I asked for a copy of the CarMax report. He attached his business card to the report and put it on his desk. I explained this was my first stop in shopping for a car. He pushed the report across his desk to me. He said, “I hope I’ll be here to help you when you decide.” He stood up and walked away. That dealership has a slim to none opportunity to do business with me because of this experience.

Poor customer care costs companies of all sizes. CTMA, a research group from New Zealand, calculated an 87 percentage point drop in customer loyalty if a customer was “very dissatisfied.” Not only do customers find another provider, they share their bad experience with others. See previous paragraph.

Understandably business owners want to maximize profits by minimizing costs. Cutting costs in customer care training is false economy. Also, not knowing how your customers experience an interaction with your company, hides areas that could be improved or enhanced.

What can you do to be profitable while providing excellent customer care?

  1. Invest your resources to train employees in all areas to be great representatives of your company. Include marketing, sales, operations, finance, and everywhere else.
  2. Make internal customer care as important as external customer care. Each division serves the other.
  3. Use technology wisely to enhance the customer experience, not merely cut costs. Efficient phone systems may save labor costs but at what expense?
  4. Over deliver and under promise on the commitments you make to customers internally and externally.
  5. Admit mistakes and do what is necessary to make it right (even if it costs you money).
  6. Refer customers to other providers who can fulfill their needs when you cannot.
  7. Ask your customers, “How are we doing?”

The power of great customer care is hard to calculate. But imagine never having to advertise ever again, because every customer was so pleased they told five friends to shop at your store and those five friends all became customers and did the same thing. Cut down on cost and increase profits? It’s easy to say yes to this.

© 2018 Ann Elliott All Rights Reserved

4 comments on “Why Customer Care Is the Secret Sauce to Success”

  1. Can't stress this topic enough. And if may add that on point #5, it's not enough that you admit a mistake. I believe the admission is unfinished until you take action in your procedures change things up in an effort to avoid the error again. When you report to your client that as a result of that blooper they have caused you to grow in a more efficient manner, you have a friend for life.

  2. Thanks, Jae. No wonder you have clients for decades. I appreciate your observation of changing processes to prevent errors in the future.

  3. I was trying to decide which of the 7 suggestions was the most important but concluded that they are all equally important! I have a tendency to over-complicate things and I appreciate the wise words and simple suggestions that can make all the difference in the world. I will work on implementing these into our processes right away.

    Thank you Ann for providing clarity in our business world.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Dianne. I understand what you mean about keeping it simple. I'd like to hear how the changes you are making in your company are working.

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