Last Update: November 20, 2015
Is any customer a good customer as long as they pay?
In fact, most successful and profitable companies understand that they cannot “be all things to all people.”
But first, when it comes to business what makes a “good” or “bad” customer. For most businesses, a good customer is one that:
Pays on time, regularly without extraneous past due balances.
Has a clear and correct expectation about your company.
Adequately uses your internal resources (i.e. support, customer service).
Communicates early on issues; giving you opportunity to course correct.
Is generally pleasant to deal with.
Arguably, for all intensive purposes, a “bad” customer could be defined as the opposite of all these things. And if by chance most of your customers are the exact opposite of these ideals it may be time to tidy up and do some “house cleaning.”
Unconventional Ways to Improve Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is a priority. However, you shouldn’t get lost in a conundrum of trying to service everyone that has a “pain point” because, not every customer is meant for your business. It’s not conventional wisdom, but it’s true. Anyone that’s been in business any length of time is privy to this fact.
Some of your customers may be costing your company more than they give back in return. And while you should absolutely do your best to deliver happiness, no one — including your employees — will be happy if you’re not delivering a profit.
So, if you’ve been dealing with more “bad” than “good” customers lately it’s time to ramp up customer satisfaction and your team’s sanity with four simple steps:
1. Spend time in productive areas.
You shouldn’t spend exorbitant resources and energy trying to win some customers. Customers that want you to jump through hoops doom the relationship from day one.
Take a closer look at some of your best customers. Did you have to walk on hot coals, sail the seven seas and kiss their grandma to make a sale? Not likely.
It’s important to know that not everyone needs what you offer and the best use of your precious and valuable time is to start talking to those that do.
2. Talk to the right people.
Many times it’s hard to conquer step one because you haven’t solidified who your target audience really is. It is one of the most important steps you can take in business.
And once you’ve identified the primary decision maker or purchaser, you’ll spend less valuable time talking to people who aren’t qualified to tell you yes. Most importantly, you won’t make the mistake of trying to convince someone about your company’s offering that doesn’t meet your criteria.
In other words, don’t be so thirsty for a sale that you’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, only to discover there’s no water, yet you’ll drink the sand instead.
3. Let your product speak for itself.
It’s important to sell and ship great products (and services) but it’s also important for you to amplify your message about your offering to the right consumers. This means that your website, marketing collateral and advertising should speak so succinctly to who you’re target is that there’s no confusion.
As a customer, I shouldn’t have to ask, “Are they talking to me?” I should know it immediately. And when I know, I won’t beleaguer you with:
“Well so and so offers this and that …” and “I just don’t know.”
At times you or your sales and support teams may be confronted with these types of questions. The best way to preclude them is to be clear (in all consumer facing touch points) about your value proposition, why you’re different and who you’re talking to.
Don’t waste your sales, customer service and operational teams’ efforts insisting that they push square pegs in round holes. If you do a good job communicating who you are, what you do and why you do it from the onset you’ll save time, money and energy.
4. Create principles and stick to them.
This goes without saying, but if you find yourself dealing with a rude, unethical customer — do both of you a service and let them go. If you don’t know and communicate your company’s value, don’t expect others to. Like the old adage says, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
To take these steps a bit further, it may be wise to gain a better understanding of your customer acquisition costs and compare them to the resources or intangible headaches they may cause your team. There is a better way to do business and it starts with refinements in the areas mentioned above.
What are some tips and tactics that have worked well for your company, when it comes to customer satisfaction? Let me know in the comments section below.