- Botswana News
- Press Centre
- Hotwire’s How To
- Reference Material
"YOU the CUSTOMER are the boss in every business," says Shingie Mupunga, as he shares his thoughts on consumer power today.
There is only one boss, and that is the customer. He or she can fire everyone in the organisation, from the top executive, all the way down to the floor workers, and this is simply by spending his or her money elsewhere.
It is a well-known truth but often ignored reality, that the customer is king, boss and all else. One has to therefore pursue building long lasting relationships with customers, such that they feel loved, wanted and like they are the best thing that ever happened to your brand.
In other words, it is a cycle of T.R.E.A.T.s one has to give to each customer each and every day to reach the expected level of delight. So, what are these T.R.E.A.T.s, one might ask? Allow me to break it down.
1. Trust – the ability to provide what was promised dependably and accurately. Some call it the ‘moment of truth’ when a brand matches its promise to the customer, delighting them with equal or exceeding expectations.
2. Response – the brand’s willingness to always help customers promptly. I come from a school of thought that says you don’t knock off without responding to an email enquiry. These days, some go as far as social media inboxes; keeping this attitude certainly goes a long way.
3. Empathy – the degree of caring and attention you show to individual customers always accounts for the word of mouth a brand will gain. Repeat customers usually don’t worry too much about the price point, but rather how they felt the brand invested in their purchase.
4. Assurance – the knowledge and courtesy you show to customers plays a pivotal role in them coming back to consult you on a new sales opportunity. Some scholars term this process ‘selling without selling;’ for example, a customer came in for a coat of paint, but you educated them on the process now they are buying 3 coats instead.
5. Tangible – the physical appearance, equipment and facilities of both brand representative and the brand itself at the point of sale. I’m reminded of a saying that you are addressed the way you are dressed. First impressions do matter, regardless of the trade or industry.
A simple equation that either student or lecturer have mastered: Customer Service = Good Business. Time and again, history have proven that exceptional customer service will:
Often make customers pay more, drive further and inconvenience themselves in order to do business with a brand that appreciates them.
Increases productivity, efficiency and effectiveness. Satisfying an unhappy customer costs more both in Pula and sense, than satisfying a customer on the first try.
Satisfy and retain customers; they buy experiences and bring repeat business once they are happy. Some go out of their way to share these experiences with potential customers on your behalf.
It is easier said than done indeed, but then again, nothing in business ever comes easy. Remember, what you are not willing to do for your customers, your competitors will gladly offer them.
In summary, Henry Ford aptly summarises this assertion, “It is not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.”
Need I say more, YOU the CUSTOMER are the boss in every business.