In the story strategy, the customer is the hero of the brand story. This can never be over-emphasised. It implies that business owners are mentors in the client’s journey towards victory. Hence, business is the marriage of business owners with potential or ideal customers.
Ideal customers are called ‘suitors’ in this case.
Businesses, ideally, should seek to grow through building customer-centered relationships instead of just mere transactional relationships. Customers, who are our suitors ought to be dated and courted to the point that they become loyal.
However, this is not so for some businesses. We either lose loyal customers or potential customers through bad testimonials and lack of referrals. This can be caused by so many reasons. Six of them would be highlighted here.
1. YOU ARE NOT CLEAR WITH WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT
Imagine a relationship between two fake people? You don’t want to go further, right. It will go nowhere.
Imagine that you set out on a journey with no destination? This is worse off. A fake person even has a destination.
If your business is not defined around who your ideal clients are, you’ll lose serious suitors to serious people. No one wants to deal with people who do not know what exactly they should do to provide value to the right market.
2. YOU ARE NOT REACHABLE
A young girl between 26-28, praying for a life partner but doesn’t mingle at youth programmes in church, business seminars, hangouts, etc… No prayer house will sort the matter. And no husband will be dropped into your box by the postman.
Be seen. Be found. Are there businesses not on social media? You are playing hard to get o! Soon, suitors will move to those who are easy to access.
Seperated business lines from personal lines…But attend to every business calls, enquiries.
3. POOR RESPONSE FROM THE COMPANY
You received an email for a potential job and you are replying one week after? Is your business a Sunday service?
People like people who are quick to give responses to their needs. It means that you are in for business. It shows that you are the writer you claim to be. Not a writer today and a farmer tomorrow. Or better put, it shows that that they are dealing with a person of order and focus.
Yes, some suitors will sound rude. Don’t be rude too. Remember that as a business owner you are the mentor to someone’s journey.
4. THEY ENCOUNTER PROBLEMS DOING BUSINESS WITH YOU
How do you charge? Is it well spelt out what you will offer? There are so many fast food joints where the attendants give receipts different from what was paid at the counter. Would you want to be like such businesses?
What is your turn around time? Do you always deliver later than the scheduled time.
Do you give customers value for their monies? Or you want to just make money at the expense of not seeing your customers repeat their visits?
What weaknesses would a customer be quick to obeserve in the course of buying from you?
Amongst all your customers, there are some who constantly repeat their visits to your shop. They love what you do and are satisfied each time they purchase your services.
How do you reward them? Remember that this is a relationship, you have to surprise your loyal ‘suitors’ once in a while. Freebies, discounts, extra services, etc. are all necessary to encourage loyal customers. Else, they grow weary in their love for ‘you’.
Wow them in such a way that they never go a moment without telling others about what you do.6. LISTEN, LISTEN AND LISTEN
Customer satisfaction surveys are ways to hear from your customers on how they feel about what you offer. These serve two basic reasons to help you strengthen your good and to go you work on your bad.
Sometimes, a customer wants you to do something extraordinary. Listen. When you listen, you realise another way they help you to create something new and unique. It helps you in the quality improvement process. Listen to their pains, pleasures, wishes, dreams… This will give you directions on how to channel your business to become more.
Ask them for reviews. Ask how you can get better. Listen to their feedback. Take notes. Improve
7. WORK ENVIRONMENT.
I once placed a call to a company to make enquiries. The lady who received the call opened her mouth and said, ‘Please go to our head office at Anthony and ask. I don’t know anything about that one.’
I still get goose pimples each time I remember that phone call. I could feel the voice of a frustrated employee.
See, people don’t do businesses with walls and internet and doors and windows. They like to relate with people. Period.
There are businesses where customers repeat their visits because of the manner in which an employee handles their cases. What does your work environment look like? Are your employees comfortable working with you? What vibes do they send out to customers? Positive or negative vibes? Remember that customers are over-sensitive to signals. If you don’t treat your employees well, they’d even advice your potential customers to look for your competitors.
So, what are you going to do now?