Business Growth and higher Profitability can be created through knowing what two groups of people think and feel about your business, (i) your customers and (ii) your staff.
At Customer Perceptions we have processed over 800,000 ‘Customer Feedback’/ Mystery Shopping Reports and our research and client engagement clearly show that:
- There is typically a big gap between the Service which Retail & Service managers think they are delivering to customers and what the customer actually experiences.
- Profit margins are considerably higher from sales made to returning customers as they don’t have “a customer acquisition cost”
Working every day with vast quantities of highly valuable customer insights we are often reminded of two great quotes from the founder of the world’s largest retailer Walmart, Sam Walton, who believed
- “There is only one boss and that’s the customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else” and
- “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish”
In more recent times Richard Branson has been saying that “surprisingly at Virgin we do not put the customer first, our employees are the company’s top priority”. While this breaks with decades-old business wisdom, it has worked so well for Virgin that Branson goes on “I’m surprised more companies haven’t adopted an employee-centric management strategy.
It should go without saying, if the person who works at your company is 100 percent proud of the brand and you give them the tools to do a good job and they are treated well, they’re going to be happy,”
Closer to home, Ireland’s best known retailer Fergal Quinn describes in his book “Crowning the Customer” how to apply “the boomerang principle” to customer service, attitudes and behaviour. With numerous other ‘nuggets of good practice thinking’, the book is as good a read today as it was when written 25+ years ago.
However, we really don’t need world leading business gurus or expensive business consultants to tell us that it is critically important to have our staff trained to do their job properly. Thereafter, if we create a work environment where people are happy and feel respected, these people have higher levels of productivity, have lower levels of sickness & absenteeism, look after your customers MUCH better and these customers in turn buy more and return more frequently …it’s actually hard to make it complicated.