Paul Haarman: What are the top three things that push customers away?

As a business owner, you know that the three most important things in your life are your employees, your customers, and your products says Paul Haarman. Yet even with the best intentions to treat all parties well, sometimes businesses go out of their way to do just the opposite.

The following list comprises those “third parties” that drive customers away:

  1. Employees who don’t care.
  2. Companies that make it difficult for consumers to access their services or make purchase decisions – such as requiring appointments for sales or service – without providing justification or explanation.
  3. The feeling that companies scam people into buying their products and services and then offer no real benefit over what they already have at home (or simply cost too much).

These points were made in an article written by Mike Blumenthal, entitled “The Top 3 Things That Push Customers Away,” which appeared in the March 10, 2013 issue of MapBlast.

Independent research has backed up the findings and identified the same problems:

1. Employees who don’t care

According to a study by Accountemps, only 46 percent of employees believe that their company values creating a positive work environment for its staff – and 27 percent said they feel valued at their current companies. A separate study done by Gallup found that 53 percent of American workers are not engaged in their jobs – meaning they’re unmotivated and unproductive – while another 17% are actively disengaged. These numbers likely indicate why nearly 80 percent of U.S.-based employers reported that they experience difficulty in hiring new employees, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.

2. Companies that make it difficult for consumers to access their services or make purchase decisions – without providing justification or explanation.

According to the same Accountemps study cited above, employers expect customers to conform to their demands and schedules. With 65 percent saying it’s the customers’ responsibility to contact them first; 52% said it’s up to customers to schedule service appointments, and 64% declared that customers should be available by phone during normal business hours (8-5 every day). So why are so many companies doing things this way? Because they can! By making it difficult for people or expecting otherwise unreasonable behavior from customers, businesses show how unimportant these customers are. They’re given away to competitors who put customer service ahead of the bottom line explains Paul Haarman.

3. Feeling that companies scam people into buying their products and services, then offer no real benefit over what they already have at home (or simply cost too much).

Pretty much every company wants its customers’ business – but not necessarily for a fair price. Customers paying high prices for a product or service do so because they feel it’s worth the money. While those who feel cheated will go elsewhere or tell friends and family about their experience with your company. No one likes feeling ripped off, even if your intentions were good when you created a product or service. That costs more than something else on the market. In addition to this, there’s also the concept that it’s just not worth paying for something. Unless you absolutely need it, so if your prices are too high, customers will buy elsewhere.

Study after study has shown how priceless customer service can be to your bottom line. For example, one study published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science found that “companies with strong customer orientation showed 2% greater revenue growth and 4% greater profit growth” over a five-year period. Another study from Carnegie Mellon University established a firm link. Between “the ability to meet or exceed customer expectations regarding a company’s products and services”. And the creation of “a competitive advantage”. In addition, companies with a strong focus on building their brand saw an increase in stock market returns. That was two to three times higher than those who failed to do so. Not bad for a strategy that costs less than 1 percent of revenue, according to the American Marketing Association says Paul Haarman.

Those are just a few examples. The proof is in the numbers, and customers know this. How can you convince them otherwise? By improving customer service through training; building stronger relationships with your customers using engagement strategies like social media; consistently putting out quality products and services that enhance your business’s reputation. Doing what you can to make sure everyone knows how great customer service brings success not only to the individual business itself but also back to its consumers. If you haven’t already done so, now would be an excellent time to start!

Conclusion:

Building strong customer relationships is what brings success to not only the individual business itself. Also back to its consumers explains Paul Haarman. By improving customer service through training; building stronger relationships with your customers using engagement strategies like social media; consistently putting out quality products and services that enhance your business’s reputation. Doing what you can to make sure everyone knows how great customer service brings success. Not only to the individual business itself but also back to its consumers. If you haven’t already done so, now would be an excellent time to start!

 

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