As business owners our members are always looking at ways to increase their revenue. One often discussed approach is the value of reducing the cost to purchase products/services in the hopes that this will increase sales – lower prices mean higher volumes.
Arguably this is one of the best things about being a member of a networking group – the opportunity to discuss and debate day to day business concerns and decisions with individuals who have had similar experiences or issues. When you work alone it can feel very isolating, and sometimes impossible to see the wood for the trees.
So, what do our members think about this particular approach?
Of course, it will always depend on the individual business and the items being sold; however, generally speaking it appears we favour a focus on customer service rather than gimmicks when it comes to sales.
Why is customer service so important?
Whilst research will throw out different figures and statistics, the general rule of thumb is that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. Therefore, one of the easiest ways to save money (rather than immediately make more) is to ensure you are not losing your current customers.
Changing your pricing strategy is going to make no difference to the individuals who currently buy with you. Or at least not in a positive way. Either you will have to roll out any cost reductions to them as well (thus reducing the income you already had guaranteed), or they will get wind of discounts offered to new customers, and take their business elsewhere. No one likes to feel they aren’t valued, or are being taken advantage of, after all.
Existing customers are a perfect opportunity to hone your existing customer service skills. Ask them what the buying experience is like, or what feedback they have and suggestions they would like to offer to help you improve any aspects of your offering. Is it easy to buy from you? What’s the communication like? How is the product or service? Does it exceed expectations? How easy is it to complain, or get issues resolved?
There is no one better to ask for feedback than the people who already work with you, so what are you doing to ensure that you’re getting their opinions?
From what they say you are then in a better position to build an even more effective customer service offering. Lu from All About The Grout received some feedback a few months in to the start of their business:
“We decided to only have a landline number on our adverts, as we thought this made us look more professional. It wasn’t until we received an email from hearing impaired lady that we realised the downside to this limited form of communication. She complained that it was hard to get in touch with us, we apologised profusely, and immediately changed all of our advertising to include the landline, a mobile number, social media and email contact information. I’m not ashamed to say it’s something we hadn’t even considered – so we are so grateful for her comments.”
Encouraging people to speak out about their issues with your business, and then taking these on board and addressing them, can be a huge boost for your business. Far more so than cutting the cost of your items, or offering heavy discounts.
Show people you care – and they will care about you.
We care if you come to visit one of our meetings (for FREE). To make arrangements to do so, just CLICK HERE.