We are all taught to make the customers our priority in business, but do we really offer the same service to the consumer who only frequents our store during the holiday buying season, or do we bend further to the left or to the right according to who the customer is and how much they have spent? If we listen carefully, we learn what our customers need because they will tell us either directly or indirectly, and in order to engage new customers, we often depend on word of mouth and our reputations.
No matter how great our products or how efficient our service, fate somehow finds its fickle finger sooner or later and just goes awry; it’s how we handle all of this and how our customers are made a priority that maintains customer loyalty. If 60% of customers tell their friends of a bad experience, 31% share their experiences on Facebook and other social media, and 20% write reviews, we definitely need a positive service recovery when our most sophisticated technology fails to remedy a customer’s displeasure.
As businesses pinpoint that lucrative 20% of the high-volume buyers, studies also show that these are the customers willing to spend more; they are extremely knowledgeable; and they are more interested in sophisticated technology bringing them better solutions for superior service. Common sense drives companies therefore to focus on those passionate, engaged, and sometimes obsessive customers who contribute to a larger share of the profits. We listen to them, and we learn. We separate them from the 20% who spend their time complaining, as well as from the buyers who only stop by our stores or website during the high shopping seasons. Although we still offer the latter reward programs, the truth is that we do not tailor our better services to their individual needs, and we tend to give them little personal attention.
While most organizations try to assure everyone that customers are their priority, it’s hard to persuade most of us that customer service was born equal.