Make 2014 the year of the customer for your own sake

AS WE near the end of the first month of 2014, I'd like you to consider what the coming year looks like to you, your business and most importantly your customers.

Frankly, our business community gets a less than favourable rap when it comes to customer service.

Together, let's make 2014 "The Year of the Customer".

Here's some interesting (and alarming) facts on reasons why customers leave a business: 1% die, 3% move, 5% develop other friendships, 9% go to a competitor based on convenience or passing by and don't return, only 14% are dissatisfied with the product or price.

But here's the clincher - 68% changed businesses because of poor service and the perceived indifference of staff and management.

Some more alarming stats - only 4% of dis-satisfied customers complain - 96% just go away quietly, and 91% never return.

It is said that a dissatisfied customer tells around 10 people - and one in five tell more than 20 people. With the explosion of social media, its plausible that hundreds, possibly thousands will hear the dissatisfaction from one single person … scary stuff.

So what can you do?

Let's be honest here, does your business have a culture of mediocre service or worse, even though you're afraid to admit it, poor service?

Well, this is your chance to do something about it - as long as you're committed to the cause.

Some years ago, Airline executive Jan Carlzon identified, what he called "Moments of Truth", in simple terms, every single interaction a business has with a customer is called a "moment of truth".

The key is to be able to identify these, what the "satisfaction" levels are and set about improving them - one at a time.

How do we do this?

When I work with a business, we gather the team together, brain storm and map each one.

List these in order of importance and customer impact then work through how we can improve.

You'd be surprised how often the staff have the solution, they are on the "front line" after all.

This week, why don't you gather the team, identify just 10 moments of truth in your business and how you can improve.

I'd love to hear your results. Shoot an email to

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