Universal Funnel Law #4 – Every business needs customers or clients. A customer relationship plan further develops loyal customers and serves as a source for ongoing referrals.
W. Edwards Deming who is considered to be the father of continuous or quality improvement said “Profit in business comes from repeat customers, customers that boast about your project or service and that bring friends with them. ” Deming truly understood the #3 Universal Funnel Law (http://ezinearticles.com/?id=92768 ) and recognized the importance of loyal customers and referrals within Universal Funnel Law #4.
Customer satisfaction is now a click away. Developing loyal customers who can provide repeat business and referrals is a critical success factor in today’s fast paced, technology driven, global marketplace. A customer relationship plan that is in alignment with the strategic business plan, the marketing plan and the sales plan and is consistently implemented and monitored would seem to be a “No Brainer” for any business. Yet, my 20 plus years of experience reveals just the opposite.
A recent survey released by MOHR Access of Ridgewood, NJ, confirms my experience that today’s customers are still experiencing poor customer service which suggests that the customer relationship plan is not working. The number one answer cited by shoppers at U. S. malls was “Not my department” closely followed by “If it’s not on the rack, we don’t have it. ” I am sure that these retail stores have some customer relationship plan, but it appears that the implementation of the plan is lacking.
With many companies purchasing expensive software to monitor customer relationships and training them on how to use these tools, the challenge appears not to be the acquisition of knowledge and skills, but rather attitudes and habits. Michael Patrick, MOHR Access president stated: “What's really needed is to get employees committed . . . to do their best, even when nobody's looking or listening. ”
To bridge the gap between your customer relationship plan and the desired results that you as a business owner or manager are seeking requires you to develop your people to be truly committed to your customers and recognize that their role extends beyond customer service. Unless, of course, you still want to do the same thing over and over again hoping for different results and you are not interested in doubling your results.
Copyright 2005(c) Leanne Hoagland-Smith, M. S.
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