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Consultants Recommend How to Create Customers for A Lifetime

Wednesday, June 1, 2011
The Society for the Advancement of Consulting® has asked it’s global members to recommend techniques and best practices to encourage non-sales people to help in the sales process. Here is a sample of the findings.

"In today’s new normal business environment, sales are lackluster and margins are tight; thus, those companies which can provide exceptional service will stand out in the crowd," points out Lisa Anderson of LMA Consulting Group, Inc. in Claremont, CA. (www.lma-consultinggroup.com). "A few strategies to achieve success include:

  1. Ask your customers what they value.

  2. Listen closely and observe—what do your customers need to be successful? 3) Rally the entire organization around the value of providing exceptional service. The power of focus can yield dramatic results."

"There are three key ways for organizations to retain the best customers," says Simma Lieberman, (The Inclusionist), president of Simma Lieberman Associates:

  1. Organizations have to provide the best service, so that each customer feels as if he or she is the only customer that matters, and not just a commodity.

  2. Employees need to feel like they are part of an exclusive club, and they in turn will make customers feel included in that club.

  3. Customers need to feel that their concerns are being heard, that they can make suggestions for improvement, and that doing business with you will be an enjoyable experience, as opposed to a just business transaction.

"Just remembering your customers’ names, and some information about their families, their last order, and what they value most, can make a difference," said Lieberman.

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist and executive coach and member of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He is the president of Working Resources, a boutique strategic talent management consulting and leadership coaching firm in San Francisco, California. www.workingresources.com He offers a few insights:

When you begin to think about acquiring and keeping customers for life, you need to think about the particular types of customers for whom your competitive advantage is so important that they would be poorly served by using anyone else’s product or service. You need to then emphasize again and again that the special features and benefits you offer are so important that they should not even think of going somewhere else. If, for any reason, you fail to do this, you may lose the customer and all the work you’ve done in building that relationship in the first place.

Dr. Brusman notes, "Consumers are turning away from media and, instead, tuning into each other. Engagement and word of mouth marketing are the buzzwords of our new era. Customers are doing their market research online and listening to each other. Unfortunately, many marketers continue to look at engagement in a one-sided way. Corporate blogs have become an excellent resource for CEOs and others to connect with customers in a personal manner. In spite of the possible pitfalls in opening two-way communication between the public and employees, there is much to be gained by being personable, accessible, authentic and transparent. Customers are already communicating with each other online about products and experiences with your company. If you can join the conversation in a real way, in real time, you’ll have an advantage over those who remain silent and inaccessible behind corporate doors."

 
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