Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My Customer is My King (‘If you do not take care of your customers, someone else will’ – Clark Harley)

How many times did you personally suffer with bad after sales service? If you have, will you go back to the same company, or even recommend your friends that specific product? I guess the answer will be a BIG NO!

I tell my entrepreneur friends and trainees, that your customer is your king! And in most cases your king is neglected once sales are made – After sales people often do not consider themselves as part of sales team and forget that only their services are bringing the customer back and fetching referrals too.

Customers are indeed a pain! They are hard, if not impossible, to please. They endlessly whine about the quality of the company’s service, the price of the product and the complementary features they think they are entitled too. And why should they not? They are burning their hard earned money (or credit card) in buying your product; and every piece sold brings in more revenue in the company.

Technology has done wonders, and one of its wonders is the speed that it can spread the word around with! Twitters, Facebook, Linkedin are making it really difficult for companies to prevent for reputational damages. Customer influence and expectations have never been greater than in today's around the clock web connected world. Comments and opinions, positive and negative spreads at across the Internet and its many channels, communities, blogs, discussion groups and trusted business and social networks with a speed we cannot imagine!

Undoubtedly, today your customers need more attention, quick response and more personalized service – Remember there is competition in the marketplace. And also that most customers do not complaint; they just do not come back! Since a repeat customer reduces the cost of doing business, he is important – companies’ today need to invent new ways to retain customer loyalty lets think how can you keep brining repeat customers? How can you add value to your current customer service?

At times it is as simple as listening to your customer – Yes so simple:

Many companies, brands and campaigns put their reputation at stake only by a lack of listening and prompt responsiveness. Remember, your customer is busy – He would call you only if there is an issues – and your careful listening and reacting can make a significant difference to your brand perception resulting in customer loyalty and retention. Also you can build your brand value by engaging your happy customers through social media network for a viral impact!

There are two quotes I like to share with you:

‘If you do not take care of your customers, someone else will’ – Clark Harley.

“Choose to deliver amazing service to your customers. You'll stand out because they don't get it anywhere else” -Kevin Stirtz

Monday, May 23, 2011

The world is filled with talented poor people - In Business – There is only one way to make money!

Business is good, business is bad – Economy is melting down etc, these are the statements we hear in business conversations, business dinners and in the media.

I have however noticed that vibrant entrepreneurs do not complaint; they follow the simple route of making money – “Increase sales at minimum cost”. Think about it, there are MBA’s who know business tools inside out, but how many work for themselves? Few may be!

People who have created business empires usually have simple education, but great idea – implemented successfully – created massive sales.

I often quote Richard Branson and Anita Roddick who have built businesses from nothing and not only established world class brands, but also proved that doing business is about passion to excel and passion to SELL.

I was reading a comment by Anita in which she explained a “successful entrepreneur”, she says;

“You have to be an outsider, a person who does not go with a mainstream. You have to have a vision, ideas, optimism and a certain degree of craziness”.

Look at Body Shop’s selling technique, “Change what women look like”! Simple isn’t it?

I particularly like Richard Branson’s style. He is informal and adds fun to his initiatives. He has given Virgin this informal style – but if you look closely at his model, its 100% CUSTOMER FOCUSED. He sells what his customer needs. Virgin’s ability to understand customers is remarkable. From selling music to business and first class seats to expensive cruise holidays, there is just one focus – CUSTOMER.

Hence to me as an entrepreneur, your selling skills are more important than creating an excellent product or service.

Think about it:

- How many good writers are not Best Sellers?
- How many scientists are not able to market their excellent innovations?
- Why excellent chefs are not in restaurant business?
- Why many expert beauticians are not running their own beauty salons?
- Why so many business graduates are not in entrepreneurial career?

Your ability to SELL is the only route to making money. But the question is “Are you ready to take a course in effective selling? Remember Selling is an art that needs to be learned – and while basics are usual, dynamics of selling are also changing rapidly.

Page 181 – Rich Dad Poor Dad “The world is filled with talented poor people – Perfecting their skills to build better hamburger rather than the skills of selling and delivering the hamburger”

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Blogging for Beginners - Why Blog?

Only last week I was asked to share my views on Blogging with a group of 20 students at a local university. It was such a wonderful experience, and at the end of the discussion, I offered them help as well. I said if anyone of you wishes to become a serious blogger, send me your draft posts and I will do tweaking for improvements.

I thought few posts on the subject would interest readers. So expect several small posts here on this subject. And these will be purely based on my experience of blogging.

Question is, why blog?

Key reasons for me were “Recognition” and “Expression”. In addition to these two, I think for a young blogger, there are three more convincing points; blogging

- Improves creativity
- Improves writing skills and styles
- Interaction with wide community around the globe.

I was reading a report by KPMG, UK that suggests;

• People are watching more television, reading more news, playing more video games, spending more time updating their social networking profiles and using more video on demand services than they were six months ago, according to a new survey published today, but their actual spending has plunged as increasingly consumers expect free access.

• Spending on 'traditional' media such as newspapers and magazines has dropped almost 20% in the last six months, while spending on digital media has almost halved.

• Online, social networking and blogging remains the most popular pastime with half of all respondents doing it compared with 47% six months ago. The big jump in usage most recently has been among 45 to 54 year olds, increasing from 37% to 45%.

When more and more people are searching for reading material online, with over 2.9 million searches every minute, opportunities are infinite!

My next post on this subject will cover:

1. Challenges Before you Start
2. Finding your Niche

So watch out -