Building and Retaining your Customers

Let us start by answering some key questions.
Who is a Customer?
In simple words, Customer is a person who buys goods or services from a business or a person of a specified kind with whom one has to deal. It is synonymous to shopper, consumer, buyer or purchaser.
Why is he a King?
Customers don’t buy products or services; they buy good feelings and solutions to problems. Customers may not always be right but they always win
So who is the King?
The king is obviously not the person who builds the business but the person who helps move it to the next level.
Build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful – Jeff Bezos, CEO,
We all have been in that place where you came out of a place with a lasting experience because of how you were treated. Now, remember how you affected business for that organization.
No business will sell without the word of mouth advertisements. The way you treat your customers has a direct effect on your business. If I came in and you didn’t treat me well or take my complaints seriously, words will naturally spread about how terrible a business you run. A satisfied customer is your best and most effective marketer.
Unfortunately, most of us do not take our time to follow up on our customers. No after sales services, we don’t take them seriously and so we lose vital customers and whatever crowd they can take with them. No business can ever succeed without faithful customers.
We must also learn to take criticism in good faith. Take the lessons with you but not the bitterness and you will be better for it. In fact, it is a faithful customer who comes back to complain instead of taking their business elsewhere.
The idea is for us to move from customer service to service magic. Service magic is that you must wow your customers. You must create a glowing feeling in the minds of your customers.

Here are five simple keys that will help build and retain customers;

1. Use the Right Term: First, sound excited to have them around, address them properly especially in this part of the world where titles are taken seriously. Try and remember something personal about your long term customers. Everyone feels good when they are treated important. I assure you that even if you are more pricy, they will naturally come back to you. Also, treat them as guest for they are your guests, and treat them as  their host. Be always happy to see them and strive to make their time with you a great experience.
2. Anticipate Needs: Build a rapport with your customers. A great waiter knows when to refill your glass or bring the cheque, just as a great company anticipates what their customers’ need — often before they know it themselves.
3. Give Respect: It costs nothing to be courteous, but you can pay dearly if you aren’t.
4. Treat Everyone like a Very Important Personality (VIP): ‘There’s only one boss, the customer’ and he is always right. Sam Walton once said. “He can fire everybody from the chairman on down simply by spending his money elsewhere.”
5. Show Immediate Action and Solutions, not Blame: Sometimes things get messed up, but apologies, which matters, mean nothing if they aren’t followed by action. Well done is better than well said. A good customer relationship will ultimately impact on your organisation and its survival. Please always remember that customer service is not a department, it is an attitude. Pick the right attitude and learn to be nice. 
I want to end with a saying from Steve Harris “God has blessed us already. It is our responsibility to prosper. ”
I celebrate you a customer.
Contributed by Ajijir Wulasha, CEO, Kandizarah Farms.

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