You might think that the goal of your business is to make money. You’d be wrong.
When businesses focus only on the immediate sale, to the exlusion of the customer — and that customer’s experience — behind that sale, the business misses out on the true value of that customer.
Your business needs to be in the business of creating satisfied customers:
1. Satisfied customers tell their friends.
Prior to the Internet, a satisfied customer would tell 12 other people. Now, that same customer can influence the purchasing decisions of literally thousands of people, most of them he’s never met. Social media, product and business review sites, and forums all give your satisfied customers a HUGE soap box with which to share their experiences with the world.
2. Satisfied customers don’t ask for their money back.
Customers who regret their purchase, for whatever reason, will want their money back. Beyond the negative impact on your sales, issuing refunds and dealing with returned merchandise is expensive. So, while you can’t completely prevent refunds, doing what you can to limit the reason people request them will help your bottom line.
Don’t take that to mean that you should place limits on when a refund is given. Absolutely not. If a customer is unsatisfied with their purchase, making them keep it will only increase that dissatisfaction. However, if you deliver a refund cheerfully and without hassle, that unhappy customer may retain their satisfaction with your business, even in the face of being unhappy with a product or service.
3. Satisfied customers buy again.
And here is the real reason that you want to create satisfied customers: satisfied customers buy again. Retaining your current customer base as you seek out new customers is the only way to grow reliably in your business. But if you don’t give your customers a reason to stay, your competition will give them a reason to leave.
It costs, on average, 5-7 times more to get a new customer than to retain an old one. Plus, your old customers already know what kind of quality service and products you offer. This makes it easier to convince them of the value of your new product or service.
Customer’s do business with companies (and individuals) whom they trust. If your customer trusts you to put her satisfaction ahead of your sale, she is more likely to bring you her business.