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Category: Customer Service

The Customer Isn’t Always Right

If your business involves working with customers, you’ve probably heard the old maxim, “The customer is always right.”  Sometimes, however, nothing could be further from the truth.  The customer is always the customer, but they’re not necessarily right.

In the print world, we work with clients who have ideas they need to have communicated in some visual way.  Whether it’s a business card or a large sign project, our customers need a final project that is visually appealing and easily understood.

Sometimes our customers come to us with files or ideas that won’t accomplish their purpose.  At those times, it’s our job to redirect the customer – gently and diplomatically.

Our business is staffed by a team of professionals who have training and experience working in marketing and graphic design.  We work with cutting-edge technology, using the state-of-the art equipment and all the materials required to deliver a stellar finished project.  If we don’t bring our expertise to the table with every customer interaction, we’re failing in our job.

Sometimes it’s necessary to tell a customer that they’re wrong, that their idea will fall short.  Diplomacy is the key to those tough conversations.  We start by acknowledging anything in the customer’s idea that works or can be tweaked to work.  Only then do we begin to gently explain what needs to be replaced or tossed out entirely.

Most times, customers listen to what we have to say – especially when we’ve built a relationship with them and they understand that we have their best interests in mind.  Sometimes customers want it their way and, in those circumstances, we graciously comply.  While we may not agree with their decision, they are still, afterall, the customer.

Do you ever need to tell a customer that they’re wrong?  How do you handle those circumstances?

©2019 AlphaGraphics Franklin

5 Way to Retain Existing Customers

Thank You CardsIn a recent article posted on the “WhatTheyTh!nk” website, industry analyst, Heidi Tolliver-Walker, discussed customer retention.  While primarily aimed at those in the printing industry, her 5 tips for customer retention are useful for anyone who sells any product or service.

Her 5 tips are not limited by industry and can be applied equally to those engaged in B2B or B2C selling.

We wondered how our customer service practices aligned with those Tolliver-Walker identified as key to customer retention.  In reviewing our own internal processes, we developed a few questions to help determine if we were on track.  These questions can help any business review their marketing and customer retention practices.

Tip# 1: “Know why they love you.” 

Ask yourself:  What are we doing right that keeps our customers coming back?  How are we delighting our customers with every interaction?

Tip# 2:  “Know what matters to them.”

Ask yourself:  What do our customers really want from us?  Have we asked them?  Note: Customer service surveys are great ways to tune into your customers’ actual needs. 

Tip# 3:  “Make it personal.”  

Ask yourself:  Are we personalizing our communications?  Are we targeting customers with relevant marketing that shows we understand their needs?  Are we thanking or rewarding customers for their repeat business?

Tip# 4:  “Be authentic.”

Ask yourself:  Are our marketing efforts genuine and telling real stories?  How do we communicate what we do in ways that don’t feel stilted or insincere?  Do we market differently to existing customers than we do to prospects?

Tip# 5:  “Don’t just sell.”

Ask yourself:  Do we care about what our customers do?  How engaged with them are we after the sale?  Do we support their business in the community?

At AlphaGraphics, we know that 60% of our sales comes from repeat business.  Keeping that segment of our customer base happy is paramount to our future success. Continually asking ourselves these key questions helps keep us on track with our customer retention plan.  Our end goal is to keep repeat customers happy and coming back for more.

What are you doing to keep your existing customers coming back?

Read the article at: Tolliver-Walker, H., (July 24, 2019), Are You Walking the Customer Retention Walk with Your Customers?  From http://whattheythink.com/

©2019 AlphaGraphics Franklin