The customer and the client are two sides of the same business coin. Without one, the other too will not exist. Which means that what is good for one should be good for the other.
But it doesn’t always work that way because sometimes a client’s representative may feel that something that is in the interest of the customer is against the interest of the client. For example, he may feel that offering a lower price for the product or service, which will be in the interest of the customer, will be against the interest of the client because the lower price reduces his profit.
But such a zero-sum game is true only in a short time-horizon. In the long term, both the client and the customer must benefit, for the relationship to continue. The principles that will help to build strong brands ensure mutual benefit. One way to ensure this mutuality is to consider the following seven hypothetical customer statements. Regularly considering these, and making sure that they are never made, will ensure customer delight as much as they will ensure client delight.
Statement 1: “It is not as good as it used to be”
This is a statement reflecting deteriorating product quality. A philosophy of continuing product improvement creates an environment of innovation and engages people within a client’s organisation, motivates and delights them. At the same time, this continuing improvement aids customer delight.
Statement 2: “Can I talk to someone who can help me?”
There are several occasions when a customer needs help. Creating mechanisms that are designed to help solve customer problems will lead to greater customer satisfaction. Equally, it helps the client to upgrade his own systems and make them more likely to create loyal customers.
Statement 3: “But you promised”
Addressing this question ensures that the client commits to only those things which he is equipped to deliver, and on the other hand, deliver everything that is committed. This will not only ensure fewer client complaints, but will also teach the client’s employees not to over-promise for immediate results.
Statement 4: “You did not treat me well”
This is a statement that indicates that the client’s people have forgotten that ‘the customer is king’. Reminders of this reality can help improve the quality of the customer experience. And research shows that customer satisfaction is positively co-related with employee satisfaction.
Statement 5: “You are looking outdated these days”
This is a simple indicator that a company is not keeping up with the times. The same steps to keep apace for the customer, such as an AC environment in shops, or using scanners for billing, tell the customer that the client’s company is staying up to date, and at the same time makes the employee’s work easier which delights them.
Statement 6: “That was in the fine print”
Addressing this issue is evidence that the client has appreciated what it is that makes customers feel that they have been misled by the company. Eliminating this ensures that the client will have delighted, more positively inclined customers who are likely to give them positive recommendation (which will, of course, also delight the client!)
Statement 7: “The person I spoke to, did not know enough to fully answer my queries”
Fixing this requires focus on anticipating the information needs of customers, and training staff to deal with these needs. Better trained and informed employees feel more valued, and can answer customer doubts, which leads to delighted customers.