The solution to most business challenges includes a Human Resources component. A product or service may attract customers but the ultimate sell and ongoing customer retention is highly influenced by employee behaviour. Implement these steps to increase sales and keep customers.
Start at the top
Leadership is all about leading the way and setting an example. A customer focused organization starts with the leadership team behaving the way it wants all its employees to. Recruit and develop the right leadership team.
Continuously develop customer service skills within your organization
Dedicate resources to training, particularly, training to enhance the attraction and retention of customers. Product knowledge training is ultimately customer service training. Focus also on internal customer training. Excellent internal customer service equates to excellent external customer service.
Engage with your staff and solicit their ideas on how to retain customers
Each position in your organization touches the customer in a different way. Ensure each point of contact is effective and consistent with your overall customer strategy. Find out what you need to do to support each employee’s ability to service the customer. Do you need to get rid of processes that prevent good customer service? Do you need to make it easier for staff to respond quickly to customer requests?
Launch your customer core value through your performance management process
Develop, with your staff, metrics for the organization, each department and each person related to customer attraction, retention and growth.
Make customers feel important
As with any relationship the words of Maya Angelou ring true: [pullquote type=”3″]I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel[/pullquote] Communicate with your customers over and above your day-to-day transactional functions. Get to know your customers. Develop meaningful business relationships with your customers. Keep in contact. Ask your customers for feedback. Share industry knowledge and updates. Participate in their corporate charity and community events.
Deliver high performance customer service
Define and agree on what high performance customer service is for your business and strive to attain it.
Hire the right people
Recruit only those who understand and can deliver excellent customer service. Hire for a positive customer attitude and train for skill.
There are many other HR initiatives to help attract and retain customers. We would love to hear your ideas.