You chose your industry because you love what you do and enjoy taking great care of people, but there’s also a pressing need to be aware of financials and KPI’s, ensuring you meet expected targets.
For many, this creates conflict. There’s a belief that achieving great financial results can mean ‘selling out’ or ‘pushing product’ in some way. If you’re caught in this dilemma, read on. There’s good news ahead.
The first thing to realize is that each of those KPI’s measure a behaviour; an action taken in the course of delivering service to your customer. Great numbers mean great actions or actions done really well. The numbers actually measure your customer’s response to your service because they generally respond in proportion to their level of satisfaction. So, the numbers become your scoreboard– your dashboard, if you like, which show you exactly how you’re doing in all the important areas.
Want to improve your numbers? You need to improve your actions and service levels from the perspective of your customer. That means truly understanding their needs, wants and frustrations and solving them better than any of your competitors. This is not about what you want; it’s all about them.
As Zig Ziglar wisely said: ‘You can have whatever you want if you help enough other people get what they want’. So the answer to your targets is in the hands of your customers.
Great results reflect amazing service and that’s not just being ‘nice’ to people. Great service is about being knowledgeable in your product/service, having a good understanding of common customer frustrations and exactly what causes them, asking great questions and really listening to the response then sharing your knowledge and expertise to help your customer make the right decisions for them. In doing this, you also develop trust which is essential for ongoing relationships, repeat businesses and referrals. Before they buy your product, they must first buy ‘you’!
Your average $ spend per customer reflects your ability to engage them with good information and intelligent solutions to their problems and then to expand the conversation with new ideas or additional suggestions- because you care about their wellbeing.
Your % of return customers (Customer Retention) is the ultimate measure of customer satisfaction. If they regularly return, they’re happy with what you’re doing. If you’re not retaining customers, you need to ask yourself (or even better, your customers!) why? This can also impact your new client numbers as well as happy customers tell their friends!
Companion products/additional sales. Now listen up; this is not about hard selling and it’s definitely not about using tired, robotic sales scripts. The best retailers and salespeople focus more on their customers’ needs than their own products and simply match the right product solution to the expressed need. ‘How can I be of service?’ and ‘Let me help you with that’ should put you in the right frame of mind to be the problem solver they need. Remember to take time to identify the problem, explain why it’s occurring, share what needs to be done to remedy the problem and then educate on which product would be the ideal solution for them. Skip the middle steps and even if it’s the best product around, it still sounds like a sale. Don’t sell, TEACH!
So the good news is, that great service IS good business. Profit is the applause you get for being really, really good at every aspect of your service delivery- to the delight of your customers!