Every truly successful business that wants to spend less time doing battle with client attrition really needs to start with the customer service and client experience component of the business.
If we tallied up into dollars spent the amount of time and decision making executive leadership has been used to rush in to save clients from leaving we would see exactly why hitting those monthly/quarterly targets are so hard.
I move from service to service and platform to platform with an amazing degree of speed and efficiency.
I do not do it because I want the hassle of the move or because I just get bored, I do it because I have become increasingly aware of how intentions of an organization materialize when they seek to offer me a product or service.
I'm always watching and listening to those with whom I'm doing business as our relationship develops right from the beginning. I do this with greater focus and awareness now because I've been both the victim and the offender.
In many cases, someone in your organization, maybe a consultant, sales strategist, executive management or maybe it's just you that have convinced yourself that "If I can make my product "sticky" enough, the client won't leave, or it will at least be more trouble than it's worth to try".
Over time, this stickiness has been reverse engineered by many brilliant people in the world that took the time to understand your company's "glue factor" strategy.
Then they came up with a counter-solution thus giving you an opportunity to move to their hopefully superior product... Most likely though, you've gotten pulled into the new company's own proprietary glue formula.
Notice for a moment that up to this point that I've written about how companies try to build solutions that will make it hard to undo business with them. So now that we're past that, let me bring it back to the core purpose... Customer Service/Experience.
Customer services and experiences are tricky... especially when it is often the same people that engineer the stickiness of their platform are also usually designing the way in which your account with them will be served once they've got you in the door.
Most of the time when I hear business leaders discussing customer service within their own organization it's said as if they just took a bite out of a lemon and tried to actually chew it.
Service isn't cheap and if it's cheap it's rarely good. Too often, by the time the lousy service becomes painfully apparent, the cost of getting service and experience up to speed skyrocket and fast.
I am going to include AI in this because while I know AI is accelerating quickly and will be pretty close to amazing at some point, companies are more enamored with the perceived immediate cost savings than their paying clients experience; so they'll deploy a solution far before it's ready.
By the way, this is how we as businesses have become so successful at seeing people give up on getting any good help or just accept disappointment. We actually treat our customers the way many of us view a visit to the doctor... a necessary evil and we expect to be treated poorly.
Every truly successful business that wants to spend less time doing battle with client attrition really needs to start with the customer service and client experience component of the business. You can avoid so many escalated situations that end up requiring that you pull out the CEO or Executive VP card you think is needed to swoop in and save the day.
If we tallied up into dollars spent the amount of time and decision making executive leadership has been used to rush in to save clients from leaving we would see exactly why hitting those monthly/quarterly targets are so damn hard.
And guess what, many times the key complaint is? "I was told I can't talk anyone at your company because I don't spend enough money with you so I have to submit a request via some tool that no one responds to for weeks, if ever.", or some other cringe-worthy excuse.
Disaster recovery of clients due to poor service is exhausting, expensive and frankly remains one of the silliest exercises I see companies tackle with extremely weak strategies that show just how much people care more about seeing what's in your wallet move to their wallet than building a solution that will make them never want to work with anyone else in the first place.
I know it's 2020 and the world may feel like it's burning to the ground right now. Which is why giving people the best of ourselves and our businesses is one of the true last bastions of differentiation and absolute value.
This might even mean having to have the ever terrifying conversation with your shareholders, that the first investment needs to be on how we make sure we don't lose customers before you even have them.
Or, if you already have those clients, illustrate to them what they mean to you by showing them what you're going to invest in their experience so they "stick". And let them know it's because you want them to remember how you made them feel when they engage with you.
Try being an innovator and stop ignoring true customer service/experience like the rest of the herd.
This article was first published in Chris Shrock's Linkedin Blog
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