“A dissatisfied customer will tell at least five people about the horrible service they received,” says Obado Obadoh, founder and force behind Café Deli. “But a satisfied one will pass their message to only one person,” he continues.
Obadoh, who is in the hospitality industry which has been battered by the pandemic, plans to expand the three branches into five in the next few months. And he believes it is the value he offers to his customers that has kept him in business.
Peter Kuguru, founder of Kuguru Foods believes it all boils down to the 5 Ps of marketing.
“If you neglect one area of the five, you create customer annoyance, and will most likely lose customers,” he says.
The 5 Ps are product, price, promotion, place and people.
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·Product decisions include functionality, branding, packaging, service, quality, appearance and warranty terms.
·Price: It has to reflect value and has to be within reach of the target market
·Promotion: Do people know what your product is and the value it offers them?
·Place refers to making products available where and when customers need them.
·People is understanding what people affiliated with the business needs.
That said, here are surefire ways to get customers sidestepping your establishment in favour of your competition.
1. Grouchy faces everywhere
Do the waiters snap at the patrons? Do your shop attendants have a permanent sneer on their faces and rush the customers through a purchase? Then yes, you are doing a great job of driving your customers away. And interestingly, big stores and established businesses do this a lot.
Also, sometimes, a smaller shop will be more ideal for the shoppers because here, they are listened to, and their needs taken care of on a more personal level. And customers will go back where they feel most confident that their presence will be noted and appreciated and where their complaints will be taken seriously.
What you can do, whether you run a big business or a small one is to ensure every customer feels valued. If you want to keep your business running.
“You can stock the best goods but have horrible customer service,” Obado says. “And that is what customers remember.”
2. Great today, lacklustre tomorrow
Does a customer count it as lucky when they get good products from your shop? How often can you deliver the same quality? How trustworthy are your pronouncements? Consistency works together with trust and reputation. When the customers are always assured of quality service at a shop, they will always come back and will most likely tag along friends in future visits. Consistency is one of the strongest pillars of every relationship. A businessperson that keeps his or her word will always enjoy more customer loyalty than one whose consistency is questionable.
3. Place price over value
Businesses are there to, foremost, make profit. Even if one is delivering a service to customers, you will not be in it if it is constantly bringing you losses. But here comes the real conflict. Will you be content with the little profit margins that you are probably getting or will you overprice your commodities, and if possible buy worse quality, so you may make heftier profits?
Is it price or value for you? Every business organisation wants to create and provide goods and services that will attract and retain customers. You may be losing customers to competitors because you are offering products at a higher price than your competitor and not providing good value.
Focusing on the value you create will help you retain your customers. If anything, customers will always go where they can get the highest value for the least money, and if one goes, the train leaves. You might lose all your business.
5. Move like a chameleon
Never mind the bad customer review on your social media pages, or disgruntled customer who wanted a refund. After all, haters are everywhere. Right? Right; If your goal is to close down by Mid-2021.
Here’s the scoop. Customers need to feel they are the first priority in a business. They are the reason the business exists in the first place, and perhaps it will do good if their complaints are listened to and something done to address their concerns.
And that should happen in good time if you want to retain them.
Prompt response to their needs makes customers feel valued and appreciated.
Additionally, the key to attracting and retaining loyal customers is to provide them with quality products and services within the required time frame.
Slow responses do not just frustrate customers, they cost you business. Even if your products are of high quality, your less stocked competitor might be seizing your market because your response time is pushing customers away.
6. You think it is all business…
There is a customer who will always buy from your competitor because the competitor happens to be their family member, friend, church mate or even former school mate. Thus, personally, they have developed a relationship that makes the customer happy to support the business of his/her friend or relative. This has nothing to do with one’s business tactics. It is just natural that, relationships influence business behaviour for both buyers and patterns. But in the same breath, you can use this on even strangers. Develop a relationship with your clients, especially frequent ones. It can start as simply as remembering their names, or what they like. You can have their contact information and send out simple ‘happy holiday’ messages. Let them feel valued, and they will feel loyal to you.
7. Have sucky marketing
Perhaps you rested on your laurels and your competitor is doing better advertising and marketing than you are. Maybe they are using promotions and you are not. Marketing is an important strategy in strengthening of any business, and good marketing should translate into good business. Marketing helps you sell your products or services. It is an essential channel to achieve that purpose.
“Customers want to have top of the mind awareness. This comes with good marketing. Customers should be reminded that a product exists, complete with new improvements, and other services attached,” says Obadoh.
Without marketing, many businesses wouldn’t exist because marketing drives sales.
8. Remind people how drab life is
Life is hard enough, and no one wants to be reminded of exactly that when they are shelling out their hard-earned money. If they can find an escape from the drudgery as they shop or spend some time in your business, they will want to come again and again. Some shoppers will drive or walk farther for a certain product because they want to be associated with a certain brand.
“You could buy a soda in a supermarket,” says Obadoh, “but because you want to feel the luxury of a place that you would like to be associated with, then you will opt to go all the way to buy such a product at the place you feel offers better luxury.”