Just get recommended!

Richard Denny gives his top five reasons why 2015 will be the year the most progressive companies focus on customer service.

Let me please challenge you with this searching but highly relevant question. How much money have you spent over the years because of somebody’s recommendation, and that somebody could be a friend, a member of your family or just somebody you were talking to?

Let me help you, let’s forget the exact sum of money as I am sure it will be in the thousands, and think about those recommendations. I expect you chose your Solicitor or your Accountant on somebody’s recommendation. How about the restaurant, the last film you went to, the theatre, the books you have read, the shops, the school, the garage, the holiday and so on, all because somebody recommended them to you on the back of their personal experience or knowledge. Yes, it really could be thousands.

Now let me challenge you again, how many of your customers are recommending you just because of the experience that you gave? Well what an opportunity that could cost you so little, do you see that this could be your biggest cash generator for 2015? I have been banging on for years about turning your customers into ambassadors, or even into your subliminal, free sales force.

So why do you and I recommend to another person or business an event or service that we have experienced? It’s simply just human nature, in communication, conversation and friendship to share with another our own enjoyment.

Millions of pounds are spent in marketing including advertising, PR, literature and websites and then there are the millions spent on the selling operation, developing leads and of course the sales force. You see, getting and earning referrals and recommendations in most cases costs absolutely nothing, I say in most cases because in 2015 the most progressive companies will be switching some of their marketing budget into the customer care budget. This switch is often a miniscule amount invested in training or ‘customer complaint delight’.

Fascinatingly our research has discovered businesses that strategically plan to earn more recommendations have a much higher retention rate and their increase in frequency of repurchase is also increased. If you are in business for yourself or if you have any impact or influence on your company’s profitable growth please wholeheartedly embrace the content of this article. So here are five tips:-

1.Make customer care your major project for 2015. Get some knowledge, go on a course, and get some training. A tiny investment here, and then develop your plan.

2.Treat every customer as you would REALLY and I mean REALLY like to be treated. Give them an enjoyable and surprising experience.

3.Don’t offer incentives for a recommendation, its old hat and doesn’t really work. Just think, how much have you spent because your friend or contact was getting a kick-back due to their recommendation?

4.Be thrilled to get a complaint because if you handle this ‘the Denny way’ you will have an ambassador and a high performing sales person.

5.Let me remind you of the definition of stupidity – Doing the same thing next year as you’ve done this year and expecting a different result.

So if you want business growth, more money and prosperity in 2015, customer care will do it.