Cash is King — Right?
Many small business owners — freshman or veteran — think profit is the true measure of their enterprise’s success, even more valuable than other business investments. Is this true? Well, no offense to George, Thomas, Abe or Benjamin, but the answer is “no.”
Cash is the “gasoline” for your business “machine,” but your profit is just a singular part of the success story.
You budget for profit. You pull out the calculator and manage your QuickBooks for profit. You spend, save and slave for profit. But profit is only profit until it is realized. And this realization is dependent upon your customers.
So, for the sake of not being too dissenting of popular opinion, if we want the “Cash King” motto to keep his crown, then, it is without a doubt, customer experience is our Queen. It is important for you to know how this queen got her crown, why she will reign supreme in 2021, and why it may be time for you to “bend the knee.”
Customer Interactions – the Royalty’s Jewels
Customer experience is defined by the interactions a customer has with your company, your brand, and more importantly, how they respond to that brand. I am talking knee-jerk reaction, perception, emotion and loyalty at the very sight, thought or mention of your electronic security business. This includes every email, telephone call, service call, advertisement, invoice, employee interaction, etc.
In 2020 and in what I will deem as, the “Covid Era of Business,” the digital space as well as the maintenance of business/consumer relationships – especially with the decrease in face-to-face transactions – has become critical to the very existence of a business. (By critical, I mean DEFCON 10, y’all. And I am looking right at you … business owners with no websites.)
After surveying general consumers, it was discovered that:
- 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience, while 92 percent would completely abandon a company after two or three negative interactions, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a London-based, multinational professional services firm.
- 77 percent of customers expect businesses to offer products that cater to their personal tastes, as found by KPMG International, a global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services.
Do you know what your customers need, like, want, crave?
If I have heard it once, I have heard it a thousand times: electronic security business owners love and thrive from word-of-mouth referrals. But that method is no longer sustainable for your business to increase your number of customers, keep and potentially upsell to your new and current accounts, attract qualified professionals to your workforce, and – you guessed it – ultimately rake in more profit.
Having a website is only one solution to the much more complex task of planning for and activating a needed customer experience initiative to succeed in 2021. However, your competitors and even larger industry titans are making that investment and garnering attention from, catering to and learning more about your customers with their fancy CRMs, CXs and tech-savvy marketing and development teams. Curbside appeal and pedigree are the themes for this queen!
Not to worry — you do not have to hire a Millennial marketer to manage 10 social media sites or a cavalry of sales personnel to win the fight for your customer’s loyalty!
How to Pay Homage to the “Queen of Customer Experience” in 2021
- Show yourself to the world and get your brand noticed.
If you are not out there on the “interwebs,” get out there … NOW. Being a member of ESA, allows you to garner attention as a vetted and reputable business on our consumer site, Alarm.org. Also, as an ESA Member, you can slap your logo on our pre-designed commercial, digital and print advertisements – for free!
Think about creating a website, if you do not have one, by using a cheap platform like WIX or GoDaddy. A website representing your brand is even important for all my commercial integrators out there.
To put this into perspective, SWEOR, a web designing (UI/UX) service provider, found 57 percent of customers reported that they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website.
And do not forget social media! Make a Facebook and LinkedIn page, and set up Twitter for your business (and be sure to follow and interact with ESA on their social media pages as well to gain more exposure to the industry). On some social media platforms, you can even automate responses from you to your customers. Try to post once a day or several times a week with pictures. If you are confident in your work, consumers will be confident in you.
(Note: Millennials are becoming the dominating force behind consumerism and they do so love their social media.)
- Notice your customers without them expecting it.
Say a customer mentions they are a huge coffee lover and can’t get through the day without it. Send them a $5 gift card for coffee – just because. Maybe one of your technicians makes a home visit to a customer and notices they have a dog. Send them a small pack of dog treats.
Another ESA Member benefit is our Benefit Hub where you gain access to hundreds of big name and local consumer discounts that can help you save when you invest in your customers and their experiences.
- Get your whole team to recognize the importance of customer experience for your business.
It only takes one bad experience for you to lose a customer forever, and that can happen at any time and with any employee.
If you do not want the burden of leading an in-house training for your team, check out ESA’s list of CEU’s for professional development, like “Handling a Difficult Customer,” “How to Present the Best Solution for your Client’s Needs” and many other customer–service–themed courses. For members, these CEU’s range from about $25 to $60. Plus, new members get a free $250 NTS Gift Certificate that could be applied toward this initiative.
Also, think about difficult customer situations your team has had to overcome in the past. Identify those hot button issues and prepare your team on how to handle them in a way that shows your integrity as a business. The easier you can move through your customer’s challenges, the faster they will come back to you with another problem to solve and – you guessed it again – bring you more profit.
Always remember: “Brand is not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.” — Marty Neumeier