This part of the bulletin is to assist businesses of Children of God, especially in the areas of customer behaviour and marketing. Although we are mighty prayer warriors, we are, often, not good business service providers. And if we do not know how to treat people (our customers), our businesses become negatively affected and why blame it on the witches and wizards.
Although we often say that “The customer is the king”, but often in our actions and business transactions with them, we deny this fact. We act as though we are the ones doing them a favour, forgetting that without the customers, our businesses are as good as dead.
A major obstacle to seeing and serving your customer as the king, is self pride. We hate to admit that they are indeed kings, because if we do, we are invariably saying that we are servants. Now, who wants to be a servant? Why would you be a servant to some people, especially after spending so much to set up your business? Well, what I know is that if you don’t humble yourself, you will soon be having so little to spend as you watch your income from that business dwindle.
It is time for you to stop taking the king for granted, for nobody disregards the king and gets away scot-free. You will surely pay for it.
There is a tendency to think that you don’t need that customer, after all, he is just one person out of the lot you have. You may be right about this, but have you ever thought that a bird in hand is worth two (and I say a dozen) in the bush?
Losing a single customer may not immediately affect your business, but if this attitude takes you over, you will soon watch them all gone.
When was the last time you felt the pulse of your customers? Are you still very sure that they are loyal to you? What is the new thing you have come to know about your customers? While it is one thing to try and make them know about the new things you are doing, it is another thing for you to know the new things they too are experiencing.
What can we do as business owners to manage or keep a healthy customer portfolio? We need to know, because we must not only have a number of customers, we must keep growing this number, making sure that the growing customers are well served and kept healthy for the good of our business. I pray that the Holy Spirit will expand the following points in your heart.
When silence is not consent: When customers are wrongly or badly served, most of them keep quiet, yet they react by stopping others from patronizing you. That your customer is not saying anything may not mean that he is sincerely pleased with your services. He may have complained over a period of time and because nothing has changed, he has now decided to keep mute.
It would, however, be dangerous for you to take his silence for consent. And who says he is quiet? He is not! He may not be telling you things, but you can be sure that he is speaking volumes behind you. Unfortunately, he is talking to your prospects; those whom you are trusting would soon be enlisted on your customer profile. He is, somehow, giving this set of people reasons why you should not be patronized.
Please note that he is not intentionally saying negative things about you, because if we face the fact, is he not merely sharing his personal experiences? Did you not turn the other way when he sought to draw your attention to how he would want to be served?
Please, never take the silence of your customer for granted. Silence here does not mean consent and surely, if it is golden as they say, it is a golden opportunity for you not to miss a golden customer. You should take time to ask your customers spontaneous questions about everything concerning your business relationship.
Feedbacks: Sincere feedbacks from your customers will go a long way in helping you come up with responsive (living) marketing strategies or plans. With feedbacks willingly offered on a ground of trust and friendship, you are sure to have ideas of what to stop, amend or start in your business.
Please note that these truthful feedbacks cannot be obtained through questionnaires or any other formal medium. If you need sincere feedbacks about yourself and your business, then you must learn to establish cordial relationship with your customers. You must make them feel like they are talking to an old friend and not to one formal business person.
If you are the kind of business owner with a “Complaint Box” put in a corner for customers to drop their complaints, then you have to urgently have a re-think. Ask yourself, when was the last time you dropped a note in any complaint box for that matter?
Customers are human beings who would rather relate directly with fellow human beings. Who is really interested in putting his grievance into writing, when he can walk straight to the business owner and lodge his complaints? Where is even the luxury of time to write?
Complaint boxes are faceless and should be withdrawn wherever they are. Why should I wait for whenever the box would be opened to seek a redress on services poorly rendered. What if those boxes don’t get to be opened in weeks? Looking at some boxes, the dust on them tells you they have not been opened in ages. Please bring them down and come up with a face-to-face complaint management officer.
They could be your marketing officers: Have you realised that your existing customers can get to places and touch hearts your best of marketing or advertising tools may never attain? No matter the quality of your media marketing; you can’t get much as having a satisfied customer willingly talk about you to his friends and prospects.
Your clients or customers are the best marketing personnel for your business. Please go ahead and hire experienced marketing officers, but when your officers talk, people see them as trained and paid personnel trying to promote your business. As a result, the public become skeptical listening to marketing officers.
The situation is, however, different when a satisfied customer is talking about your products or services. People listen, because they know that the customer is talking from his or her own personal experience and not that he or she was paid to talk. This is unlike your paid marketing staff, who must speak in your favour.
You simply cannot rule out the inputs of your customers in promoting your business. They are the life testifiers needed to grow your business and as such, they must be treated with dignity; even the stubborn ones.
Burning Bush Boy