The purpose of a business is to create new customers and to keep existing ones.
A business’s long-term success depends on it’s ability to accomplish it’s business purpose. In fact, studies show it costs five times more to create a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. And, an extremely satisfied customer is five times more likely to return than one who is merely satisfied.
It is a fact that as customers become satisfied with a business, they continue to frequent it. And, as they do, their value to the business increases. As a result, we must treat each customer from a life-long perspective rather than as a single purchase event.
There are four basic needs that customers have:
1. THE NEED TO FEEL WELCOME
This need is signaled when the customer ‘looks around’ as they enter the store.
Solution: Provide a warm and friendly welcome. Speak in a language the customer will understand. If appropriate engage in friendly conversation.
2. THE NEED TO BE UNDERSTOOD
This need is signaled when a customer repeats themselves, speaks either slowly, loudly or angrily when they are not being understood. It may also be indicated by the customer who brings either a friend or relative with them to help explain either a problem or need.
Solution: Paraphrase back what is being said. Listen for the feelings which are being communicated as well as the content of the message. Emphasize with the customer’s problem or predicament.
3. THE NEED TO FEEL WELCOME
This need is often signaled by someone ‘showing off’ or bragging about who they know. This need is also demonstrated by flashing money, displays of jewelry, and/or extreme clothing.
Solution: Call the customer by name. Do something special. Tune-in to the individual’s needs.
4. THE NEED FOR COMFORT
This need is expressed by customers who are ill at ease, nervous, or unsure of themselves. It is also expressed when assistance, help or directions are requested.
Solution: Set the customer at ease. Relieve their anxiety. Explain the service procedures carefully and calmly.