One thing I have noticed above all else is that feedback across my businesses shows that people really value being treated as people & that people like communication.
Put simply, customers like to know that they matter.
Independent customer feedback (ie. feedback over which I have no control) on my music site (www.waywood.com) shows that out of 74 feedback/reviews of service, 71 are rated 5-Stars (made up of star rating scores of 1-Star to 5-Stars for quality of product, quality of service & price); the remaining 3 ratings are 4-Stars. The only dropped stars are for price which is interesting as we are probably the cheapest online supplier of our products.
Looking at the feedback, the consistent message is that our customers feel as if they have been given special attention. Sure, we do a bespoke selection service for the instruments we supply BUT, by far the biggest secret to our success in this area is that we simply keep customers involved with & updated on what we are doing. We communicate frequently, asking them what they want & responding accordingly. They feel that they have a say in each step, from selection to shipping to delivery.
Now there are plenty of areas of my businesses that I wish to improve, but I find it interesting that we are now getting a significant number of customers who have been recommended by friends because of the service they received from us in the past.
I wonder whether many of us forget, amidst the automated processes & software driven business systems that we use to make us more efficient & profitable, that above everything else, people still need to be treated as people first & customers second. I think that our efficiency should be seen as helping us to better meet the needs of our customers, rather than allowing us to take short cuts.
People buy from people & people buy more through relationship.
We may not have ages to develop deep relationships with our customers over the sale of an item; in fact some of the people who give me quite large sums of their money when making a purchase seem frighteningly willing to enter into any dialogue, even providing a contact number to ensure safe & accurate delivery of their purchase.
However, I believe that our underlying attitude as businesses shows through in all that we do: how we word our ads; how we communicate; the reputation we develop. So, if we personally lack interest in our customers or the service we provide & focus instead on the profit we make, those attitudes are transparent & will ultimately dictate our fate.
I am looking forward to this coming year when we can continue to build on the solid foundations we have been laying over the past years but I am also very conscious of the need to keep focused on the fact that the lifeblood of my businesses, my customers, are people.
I’d love to hear your views & experiences so why not share them below. Many thanks.
Take care until next time …