And no, “weeding” in this case doesn’t have anything to do with gardening or the Black Crowes.
In this case, according to Yankelovich MONITOR, it means being “blackballed” for superficiality in favor of substance and accountability.
In today’s world of myriad choices, it’s easier than ever for consumers to walk away from brands, restaurants and retailers that they don’t see as honest. After all, why exert the energy and spend the time when you can walk to the other side of the mall or click to another window and get something better.
It’s remarkable how the wisdom of a cousin in grocery retailing and a five-figure subscription to a consumer trend monitor can overlap. Here’s how Cousin Ron and Yankelovich recommend you improve customer service in order to delight and retain customers:
- Hire great people. Restaurants, retailers and manufacturers are all guilty of placing too little emphasis on hiring, training and retaining talented and passionate brand ambassadors. Trust us, your more successful peers and competitors do this. No excuses, now. Fix it.
- Remove the word “no” from your vocabulary. You have two choices. Make it happen or be willing to risk the customer moving on to something better.
- Don’t wait for them to ask you. If there’s even a slight chance a question might arise, publish an answer to it on your Web site and prepare your people to be able to answer it.
- Show caring through customization. Every neighborhood is different. Every market segment is unique. That’s why they’re called neighborhoods and segments-because they’re full of neighbors and segs who want something a little different. Wherever possible and profitable (especially long term), give it to them. It shows you care, and it builds loyalty.
Have a profitable, customer-focused, consumer-friendly day.