My wife was buying a blazer for our daughter and asked the clerk about the store’s return policy, knowing that teenagers change their minds. “Thirty days for a refund, then a store credit,” was the clerk’s reply. Satisfied, my wife bought the blazer.
Our teenager, however, wasn’t satisfied. When my wife tried to return the blazer three weeks after the 30-day deadline for refunds, she expected a store credit. The manager refused. When my wife asked if the manager cared about the lifetime value of a customer, the manager replied, “I only care about the lifetime value of my job.”
Here are a few questions to consider the lifetime value of your customers so that your employees understand what is at stake (in addition to their jobs) and focus on great customer service.
- How are your policies and procedures enabling your front-line people to take care of your customers? Or, are they frustrating your customers?
- As the business leader, how often are you observing your front lines in action or shopping your own business?
- How much time and money do you spend training your employees (an investment) compared to advertising (an expense) to attract new customers? What’s the ratio?
- Who are your most profitable customers and how do you retain them?
- Where did your best customers come from? How are you repeating this success?
- How are you competing with Amazon?
- How much do you invest to retain your best customers?
- If someone took a video of a negative customer experience with your company and was going to post it online for the world to see, what would you pay to prevent that from happening?
- What’s the lifetime value of your customers?
Keeping the customers that you already have is a lot easier and cheaper than finding new customers. Training your employees to take care of your customers, especially the most profitable ones, is a low cost, high value activity.
If you’d like help identifying and protecting your best customers and growing your revenues and profits, give me a call or send me an email.
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