Today I welcome Jonathan Butler onto The Fearless Business Podcast to talk about how to treat your customers better.
Jon works with entrepreneurs and restaurant business owners who have stepped up and realise they want more, deserve more and have much more to give. Is this you?
Jon is the author of Business Recipes for Success – The 4 Steps to Building a Successful Restaurant or Hospitality Business
The latest episode of the Fearless Business podcast focuses on your customers and how to treat them better, so your clients are receiving the best possible service from you.
Sometimes it can feel like you are losing customers more than you are gaining them.
The key to turning this around is in how you look after your clients and take them on the journey with you. That process is not necessarily all in the customer themself, but also in your business strategy, your team, and processes involved, as your customer is interacting with that side of your business.
The likes of Covid-19 have really highlighted that even big businesses let customers down, with long, online queues, website access issues, and long product waiting times as the world moved online. These are not satisfying customer service or customer experience, instead businesses went into panic mode, instead of taking the time to be proactive and rethinking their strategy.
Podcast guest Jonathan Butler highlights that customer service and customer experience are two key areas to pay attention to.
Customer service involves the physicalities of making a transaction. Factors such as the cost, product, and buying process are involved.
Customer experience is how you make the customer feel and their satisfaction with the product or service bought. If through the buying journey, they don’t feel good for some reason, then they are less likely to use your business.
You may think that customer service has to be the best to make the customer experience good, but this is not always the case.
Large companies such as Amazon do not always have the best customer service, but the experience of being able to get products quickly, have a wide variety of choice at your fingertips, and competitive pricing creates a positive experience.
Amazon is a prime example (no pun intended) of the importance of investing in the right place at the right time in your business.
Amazon did not have to change much of its business model when Covid hit. It is clear that they invested in the processes and warehouses which make the business work. This internal management and strategy is then reflected in the customer experience.
If you are a business that offers phone-in customer service support, then your employees need to have the right training and the knowledge at hand to offer solutions to customer issues. Without investing in areas such as this, then you are going to keep losing customers as soon as new ones come in.
In the longer term, it is cheaper to maintain existing customers than it is to bring in new ones, so ensuring you are investing in the customer service side of your business and the processes that allow your business to run smoothly is vital.
Online strategy is also relevant here. High street stores are dropping like flies, but it is businesses that have invested in their online marketing and taken the time to understand their target audience that are still doing well - Next and Joules are two examples here. The likes of Debenhams on the other hand were outdated in their strategy.
It is important to have two or three distribution avenues. You can’t put all your eggs in one basket so to speak. It’s important to have a diverse range of marketing channels in case one of them goes down.
Jon Butler describes 3 phases of a customer journey.
Discovery works in two ways. There are all the avenues your customer discovers your business such as through social media, ads, or networking.
Through that, you also discover more about your customer. You need to know who they are, what they do, how they find you, and more. Having the systems in place to discover this information is important, as both sides of the discovery bring value.
Delivery as the name suggests is delivering the service or product you are providing. But it is also about engaging with customers and nurturing those relationships. You have to maintain customer expectations from the discovery phase.
The deploy phase is where you analyse what you have done, look at how you can improve, and deploy the relevant steps to improve your customer experience.
You have to continue to go through this cycle and continue making those improvements.
Without recognising these key areas in creating the best customer service and experience, this is when businesses start to fall apart, and why, especially during the pandemic, we are seeing more businesses collapse.
If you are listening and analysing, and constantly working to make things better, this will stand out. If there are fewer businesses to choose from, yours will stand out if it has the best customer journey to offer.
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