Back To Basics; Customer's Needs Must Come First


Respect for and from customers is critical for successful businesses. Think of it as follow-up and follow-through strategies.

Often, time, money and effort are spent chasing down new customers, but after one or two transactions those customers are lost to the competition. The main reason is the lack of follow-up and follow-through, which make the customer feel unappreciated.

The recommended solution by business experts is "Don't settle for less than the best." Customers should always be given more than they ever expected every time they visit. Consider the actions you can take to strengthen your business' connection with your existing customers.

Cheryl Holland, vice chairman of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, and owner of the Windmill Corner Inn, Strawberry, said her personal strategy for customer respect is fairly basic.

"The old adage, ‘the customer always comes first' is primary with me," said Holland. "No matter what kind of day I'm having, the customer's needs must come first."

Running an inn, Holland employs other strategies that are specific to her business. She said she will ask about the birthdays and anniversaries of her guests, where they are from and similar questions. Holland said it is the kind of conversation that gets them to open up and share other things about themselves, creating a more personal relationship.

There are three important areas to concentrate on for the best follow-up and follow-through:

  • Truly care about your customers; be willing to do what it takes to keep them; and stay focused on them;
  • Discover new ways to reach out to your customers; consider their benefits and needs -- ask how they would like you to follow-up and how you can improve your service;
  • Take steps to enhance your customer growth, make your relationship with them as strong and as long-lasting as possible.

For more details on "Holding on to Customer Respect" get a copy of the November edition of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce newsletter. For more information, call (928) 474-4515.

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