One would normally assume that there is a positive correlation between customer satisfaction and customer buying behavior. We know that dissatisfaction comes from the difference between what we expect to occur and what actually happens. Yet, in spite of customers telling you that they are quite satisfied with your services, they often turn around and leave you anyway.
Recent studies confirm that current satisfaction measurement systems, such as surveys, are not a reliable predictor of repeat purchase. Which is why you will so often hear bosses making statements like, “It’s great to know that our customer satisfaction score is up again for the fourth straight year. Now, can someone tell me why profitability and market share are down again?”
To keep customers from leaving requires a determined mindset and a long-term commitment to the customer.
What you must look for are:
• customer retention
• total share of the customer’s business
• dollar amount
• life time value
REMEMBER: Your Best Customers are Your Competitor’s Best Prospects.
Which is why it is imperative that you do everything possible to turn your first time buyers into repeat buyers and eventually loyal customers.
To accomplish that feat means having to make the experience of doing business with you, especially that first experience, as pleasant and overwhelming for the customer as is possible.
Five reasons for making a first time customer a lifetime buyer:
1. Sales go up because the customer is buying more from you
2. You strengthen your position in the marketplace when customers are buying from you instead of your competition
3. Marketing costs go down when you don’t have to spend money to attract a repeat customer, since you already have him. In addition, as a satisfied customer he tells his friends thereby decreasing your need to promote yourself.
4. You are better insulated from price competition because a loyal customer is less likely to be lured away by a discount of a few dollars.
5. Finally, a happy customer is likely to sample your other services thus helping you achieve a larger share of the customer.
A Five-Step Progression:
Each time a customer buys, he progresses through a buying cycle. A first time buyer goes through the following five steps:
1. Becomes aware of your services
2. Makes an initial investment
3. Post purchase evaluation
4. Decision to repurchase
5. Repurchase or not
Whether or not the customer feels an attachment to you is dependent upon two factors:
1. The customer’s degree of preference
2. The customer’s degree of perceived differentiation.
Four Reasons First Time Buyers Do Not Return
1. Early problems sour the relationship
2. No formal servicing system – no account management program
3. Communication breakdown with the decision makers
4. Easy return to the other supplier
A man died and went to heaven, where he was told he had a choice between Heaven and Hell.
He decided to take up the offer to look around. What he found was a serene heaven, bathed in a wonderful white light. He found the people in Heaven to be very friendly. They were all walking around in white robes and singing hymns. “Nice”, he thought, “but a tad boring.”
On his visit to Hell, he was surprised to find people having fun. They were playing golf, playing cards, dancing, partying and it wasn’t even hot. He went back to the Pearly Gates and told St. Peter he’d take Hell. But, when he arrived in Hell this time, everything was different. It was hot and horrible. People were miserable, in pain and screaming. “What happened?” he asked the Devil. “This isn’t at all what I saw when I visited the first time.”
“When you visited the first time,” replied the Devil, “you were a prospect. Now my good man, you’re a CUSTOMER!”
This article is taken from Chapter Six of the Altfeld Inc. Sales Training Manual.