A customer is not a prey you can poach

The fact that economies are volatile is no surprise to any of us anymore While the hospitality industry took a hit over the last year from less consumer spending, those who did dine out were generally loyal to their favorite restaurants. That is to say, guests were still willing to spend but not outside of their comfort zone. Aside from value, customers also wanted to go where they knew they’d be treated well.

In an article for Indian business platform mydigitalfc.com, M Muneer offers his take on good customer service. He begins with the obvious: if you want to build a relationship with your customers, respect them. Don’t look at them simply as a demographic that must be penetrated or exploited. Muneer defines brand loyalty as a result of the experience the customer has with your company.

If you want to master good customer service, you must know the differences between loyalty, necessity and bribery. Unlike necessity and bribery, loyalty stops customers from defecting to another brand. Loyalty means a customer will stay with a company even after it makes a mistake. Of course, this is contingent on the company fixing that mistake quickly.

Muneer states that only the loyal customers complain. For every complaint you receive, there might be scores of other customers who were reluctant to voice their concerns. Take note of the complaints you receive, for those are the people you want to satisfy. He cites Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers as saying, “There is a one-to-one correlation between customer satisfaction and future revenues and profits. The problem is that it lags 12 to 24 months, which is why most companies don’t pay attention.”

The point is: love your customers. See them as real people with real expectations. In the old days, for every bad experience, you could expect on average 10 other people to know about it, but today, with social media, that number becomes exponentially higher. With the proliferation of high-tech modes of communication, simple human interactions become even more important.

© 2018 Coyle Hospitality Group 2016. Reproduction of any material without written authorization is strictly prohibited.

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