Why top businesses focus on customers

Tuesday September 17 2019

Manuela Pacutho Mulondo interacts with one of

Manuela Pacutho Mulondo interacts with one of the children at the Cradle, a 24-hour child care centre in Ntinda, Kampala. PhOTO BY ERONIE KAMUKAMA 

By Joan Ntabadde

At some point, everyone is a customer. But not everyone enjoys good customer service at the end of the day. As customers, when we get good service, we are satisfied but can still use your competition. However, when we receive exceptionally great service, we shall do everything within our power to come to your business because we shall have turned loyal.

Running a business is no easy feat and one of the main tasks you face is how to retain your customers, keep them buying and referring more customers to you for a prolonged time.
Customer service is only a section of customer experience.

In this era of social media, everybody is empowered to speak up about their experiences regarding businesses and because of this, businesses can be grown or broken. Therefore, business owners no longer have the luxury of accepting complacency in service delivery.

Exceptionally satisfied customers create raving fans - exceptional customer experiences result from exceptionally satisfied customers guaranteeing loyalty, retention and growth.
So, how do you make your business stand out while leveraging on customer experience?

Effectiveness
Deliberately focus on the customer – don’t just say it show it. Focus on what the customer wants within your means. Focusing on customer preferences and acting on those preferences drives a business’ relevance. Train employees and instil a mindset to act with urgency and to “treat customers how you’d like to be treated” so that they are empathetic, understanding and ready to go the extra mile for customers.

Make it easy to do business with you Business owners need to be concerned about the effort in doing business with them. Deliver how the customer wants it, where they want it and when they want it. Make it easy to reach you, talk to you and deal with you. Empower your people to deal with issues speedily and make sure all your delivery systems work efficiently.

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Connect with customers
Deliver positive emotional outcomes by connecting with every customer.
Customers want you to recognise them when they call or enter your business therefore business owners need to train employees to know customers by name, anticipate and customise solutions based on their needs and to understand the essence of timely personal, memorable and relevant solutioning.

SMEs should therefore not look at customer experience as a nice to have but as a must do. It is the vanguard of any business. An exceptionally delighted customer will ultimately lead to referrals, give you a competitive edge to survive in this tough economic climate.

The writer is the head of customer experience at dfcu bank.

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