Every Customer You See Could be Your Last Customer on Earth

 

What if you only had one customer left to do business with?  Maybe this was the last customer on earth?

I was recently deep in conversation with a friend about providing a great customer experience when the topic landed on customer retention and engagement.  We had both lived out west and he came up with an interesting analogy.

He said that the customer experience you provide is a lot like the familiar last gas station before you enter the desert.  Most of us would pull in and ensure that our car was ready to tackle the desert.  Of course we would want to be sure that our gas and water were topped off.  And that would be a very natural reaction.

When you consider this through the prism of business, I’m sure you would focus on making sure that this customer is happy.  Perhaps you need to actually take this further.  It’s as if the topping off your gas and water is providing your customer with an excellent experience.  All so you can stay in business.  Until you get your next customer.

 

You Need to Know How to Out Convenience your Competition

 

Let’s pretend for a moment.  What if this was true?

It’s not that your customer is the last one on earth, but that they are the only one you have.  Maybe this is your first, and only customer.  Perhaps, because of a down economy, people just aren’t spending as they had in the past.

And this means that all but one are not doing business with you.  No matter what, you only have one customer and you absolutely have to keep them.  You can’t afford to lose them.  How are you going to retain them?  Do you want your customers engaged and telling your story.  You need to answer the following questions:

 

How do You Add Value for Your Customers?

 

What are you doing for your customers that adds value?  This isn’t about brainstorming options of what you could do.   This is all about what you are already doing.

Think about what you do that makes customers want to do business with you instead of your competition.  That’s something that you absolutely have to know.  Think about any compliments you’ve received from your customers recently.  Why did they praise your efforts?

 

You Need to Know if Your Actions are Pushing Customers Away?

 

What are you doing that might cause your customers to leave?  Imagine that you’re losing customers.  This might not be true, you just need tp imagine it is.  Consider how and why you received any and all of your recent complaints.  That’s where you should start.

 

You Need to See How Your Performance is Different

 

What do you do that is different from your competition?  This is a question that I’ve often posed before.  This is about considering differentiation.  What do you do that is unique or special compared to others.  This might be something as simple as your hours of operation.

Do you have a product that others don’t offer?  Is your process different than your competitions?  It doesn’t matter so much what you come up with.  Your differentiator must be something a competitor couldn’t say.

For example, don’t say, “We have great service.”  Your competitor might also believe they have great service, too.  Your service must actually be different.  And it must make you stand out from the competition.

 

What Would You do to Keep Your Last Customer?

 

The big question you should ask yourself is, “What would you do to keep your last customer?”  Assemble your team and brainstorm answers to the questions asked here.  Also try to understand the answers that others might come up with.  Once you have your answers, you should never have to worry about only having one customer.  Or a last customer.

 

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