Articles Tagged ‘Customer base’

“Keeping it Real!”-Small Business Guide to Survival During Tough Economic Times

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

1. Maintain Customer First Focus! Customers are just as stressed as you are! They’re wondering how they’re going to pay their bills, keep their jobs, etc. If you want them to spend their hard-earned money with you, in spite of these worries, you need to make sure that all hired customer contact people treat your customers with the dignity, respect and care that customers deserve! The last thing stressed customers need is to come in contact with an employee that acts like they’re doing them a favor by waiting on them!

2. Maintain Your Existing Customers Base! During difficult economic times it can be
tempting to go after new customers, especially when your existing customer traffic
has slowed down. However, yielding to this temptation can be quite costly to your
business! According to TARP, which is a Washington, DC based organization that
studies customer trends, it costs 5 times as much to attract new customers as it
does to keep an existing one. Of course, you don’t want to turn down any business,
new customers included…just make sure you spend your money wisely in trying to
attract them! Make sure your existing customer base records are up-to-date. If you
don’t know who your existing customers are DO WHATEVER IS NECESSARY TO

3. Invest in Customer Service Training! Don’t assume that the people you’ve hired to
interact directly with your customers fully understand and give outstanding customer
service just because you’ve talked about it! Without training, most employees hired
in today’s environment learn to give to customers what they’ve received as
customers themselves….less than acceptable customer service! Unless you break
this cycle with a customer service training intervention, you will eventually lose whatever
business you had!

4. Hire the Smile, Train the Skill! This is the “Nordstrom Way”! Nordstrom Stores are
famous for their customer service. And we also know that Nordstrom IS NOT a
discount store! But, what you may not know is that Nordstrom doesn’t have a
“Customer Service” training program as a part of their orientation for newly hired
employees! So, how could they possibly have earned the reputation of having
OUTSTANDING customer service? Nordstrom’s philosophy is that they don’t train
employees to be kind, nice, empathetic, sympathetic, patient, etc. The Nordstrom
philosophy is that they hire people whose mothers and fathers have already trained them
these human skills! Once hired by Nordstrom, these employees learn about
Nordstrom’s beautiful merchandise. The rest is history!!

5. Winners Never Quit…Quitters Never Win! Both winners and losers get “knocked
down”! But what makes the difference? Losers stay down; winners get back up..again
and again and again! Don’t let these tough times knock you out of the game! Keep your
head up and straight! Stay around positive people! Stay around people that you can
learn from! Realize that you’re going “through”, not going to! This too, shall pass!!!

Sheri Watts, President/CEO
The Watts Connection, Inc.
P. O. Box 40205
Indianapolis, IN 46240-0205
Tel. #: 317-223-7556
Certified MBE

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