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your “satisfied” customer will buy from your competitor

Satisfaction Means Saying Good-bye

Though corporations continue to be assured that the majority of their clients are in no danger of leaving, these self-reports mask a serious misdiagnosis with long-term consequences. At least 50% of your current accounts who are "satisfied" will just go away.

The fact is 80 percent of the customers sales personnel think are very satisfied are merely satisfied. And the majority of defections from an organization come from the satisfied category — clients who are willing to remain in your camp until they receive a better offer. If you migrate clients to that higher level of "very satisfied", the results are staggering. The likelihood of getting an additional sale from a "satisfied" client is 17 percent, but the number skyrockets to 85 percent if that same client describes him or herself as "very satisfied." This issue is not satisfaction, but loyalty.

Loyal clients cite specific reasons for doing business with a provider; and loyal clients stay — not because of price or service factors — but because they believe you understand their needs. And there is only one way to do this — by asking the client what they want, what they need, and an assessment of your skills. But most clients are reluctant to volunteer this information. There must be a methodology in place for asking the right questions and getting face-to-face with a client to insure your interpretation of his/her needs is an accurate one (to learn more about this methodology go to The Penny Group).

Putting the good, the bad and the ugly on the table in front of you, the person directly responsible for maintaining the client relationship accomplishes a remarkable thing. You uncover the things that really matter in the client relationship. Once client-defined matters are uncovered, the likelihood of additional sales leaps by 450 percent. And because most providers waste time, energy and money performing tasks for all clients that often matter to just a few, the process frees you to become even more proactive and to add more value.

"How" is as Important as "What."
Achieving loyalty is less about fixing a problem, and more about changing behavior and developing new strategies. Responding to client-defined preferences is the only way to earn credibility and ultimately, loyalty. Ignore them and perish. People change. Needs change. Perceptions change. The fact is, no organization is capable of the one-to-one dialogue necessary to respond to a customer's ever-changing world. Only individuals are. Power to the people.

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You can email me at jeff@visualstrategies.com.

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