Tariq Chauhan, Group CEO of EFS Facilities Services Group, highlights the significance of rethinking customer service delivery for benefits beyond retention.
A flight purser on my recent Emirates flight from New York impressed me with his remarkable service delivery and inflight supervision, reminding me how excellent customer service can accomplish what marketing, sales, advertising, or even freebies sometimes can’t.
This is a basic premise – if you want your customers to come back, make sure you give them a pleasant experience, they will cherish for a long time. Excellent service should not always be for the sole purpose of customer retention, but also to instill motivation for those delivering these services; good feedback from customers has been shown to stimulate customer service executives.
I will admit this is not a revolutionary narrative. Business schools, management gurus and large corporates have long advocated practicing such essential drivers for customer retention; the results, however, remain mixed. Although the fact that retention is the only sustainable driver to grow business is common knowledge, it is often ignored by business leaders in pursuit of fresh business.
Being a good salesman alone won’t help you retain a client, as repeat business is only assured by following some fundamentals of good salesmanship, sales etiquettes, product knowledge, transparency and service options.
It is a general rule that a good job done by one can be undone by another. For example, service standards may vary from front office to on-ground staff. Consistency and teamwork are crucial factors to reckon with such situations.
Corporates such as Emirates Airlines’ Skywards loyalty program have achieved significant turnaround mainly through their customer retention focus. This exemplifies the fact that by focusing on customer retention, you can save a lot of financial resources otherwise spent on marketing, advertising, etc. to attract new customers. Customer retention depends on after-sales service, quality assurance, the effectiveness of the loyalty program and customer service experience.
In Facilities Management and other related spheres, we can add value by maintaining the best service standards, quality assurance and customer education. This is not to undermine the power of marketing or discourage their efforts to get new clients or business, but both have to go hand in hand. This is because no marketing drive or campaign can sustain its growth unless supported by strong customer retention focus. Therefore, it is suggested that before embarking on a new marketing campaign, a review of customer retention tools should also be done.
Ultimately, we should follow this fundamental approach; no amount of sales or fresh business can bring results in the long-term unless and until we maintain the highest standards of service delivery.
Source: Forbes Middle East