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  • Are You Making Customer Retention a Top Priority?

    64% of consumers said they “stomped out” of stores and 67% said they hung up on hold because of poor customer service, according to a new Consumer Reports survey.

    Few do a good job at being indispensable

    I was astounded at the stupidity and lack of priority and vision of those statistics when it comes to not only new customers but the retention of the ones we already have. In today’s market place, bar a few stand out brands that have done an amazing job at being “indispensable”, the competition and choice for consumers loyalty doesn’t seem to be a major priority. Bad position and wrong place on the imperative list.

    Check out this diagram about the cycle of customer acquisition, retention and referrals from inside Flip the Funnel by Joseph Jaffe. Getting new customers, retaining them and then getting more customers from the ones you already have is the perfect business ecosystem. It is only possible if the retention is a priority.

    This week I had another run in with my now big, fat out of touch Cable provider. What shocked me was:

    1) The package I had signed onto was not the package they had me on.

    2) My service had to get interrupted so that I could call and ask what was up?

    3) The service people who I got on the phone ranged from clueless and dis-interested to flat out rude and inconvenienced.

    I also went to a very popular, usually consistent restaurant this week with friends that became a service and food quality disaster that night. They apparently got hit with a big party of people which had their kitchen and servers scrambling. I don’t care. Schedule more people that night to handle it. We waited 45 minutes for our main dish and when it came, it was bad. I called over the manager, who was polite, accommodating and took the dish off the bill. They live to see me another time for that.

    I am a consumer who pays dearly for my credit card, media, phone and communications services. If a company is not treating me like gold, a diva, special, appreciated; respectfully I am going to dump them immediately. Loyalty and longevity are built on the highest commitment to customer service and retention.

    The customer service elite

    There are far too few companies I could list here that get it and are doing it, but here are the Customer Service Elite according to a Bloomberg Business survey. What are they doing that got them on this list?

    Indispensable, stand out, unexpected service today to and for the consumer is as essential and important as air, water, and food is for the survival of human beings. Make this a priority and you and your company have a chance for success and longevity. Ignore this and you and your company are headed for Jurassic Park!

    If a company is not:

    • consistent
    • responsive
    • knowledgeable
    • relevant
    • pleasant

    they will be gone from my world pronto! NO tolerance policy here for this.

    Whew, I feel better now. What’s your take? Who is treating you right?


    Deborah Shane is an author, entrepreneur, radio host and expert. She is the heart and soul  of her business education and professional development company, Train with Shane and is in her third year of hosting a weekly business radio show on blogtalkradio.com. She writes for several national business, career and marketing blogs, and websites including smallbiztrends.com, careerealism.com, Internationalbusinesstimes.com, Smartbrief.com and blogher.com Her new book Career Transition-make the shift-the 5 steps to successful career reinvention is available now on amazon.com. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Blogtalkradio @Deborah Shane, or visit www.deborahshane.com.

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