Happy customers become repeat customers and repeat customers become referral customers. This makes for a great marketing plan. By Gary Shotton #000157
By Gary Shotton
Hello, my name’s Gary Shotton, and I am sitting in the beautiful county of Honduras. You will hear a little bit of background noise, it is a little trade-off to get the background noise versus the atmosphere here, but please bear with me on that.
Basically, today I am going to talk about “happy customers”. And we have been here in Honduras, speaking to several businesspeople and young adults that are opening businesses or starting businesses and one of the things that was brought up to our attention is how do you get customers? And I told, and hold firm to the fact, that you need a happy customer.
A happy customer is, all kinds of ways to make a happy customer could include price, obviously, it could include quality. But it also includes customer service. And so, the bulk of this discussion leans towards the issue of customer service, because that is where you make a happy customer. And when you approach at least sales, or marketing, or any product or service, you cannot afford to advertise for new customers all the time. And so, if you are always advertising for new customers, and you do not have any repeat customers, I would say that is a solid signal that something is wrong, that your customer is not happy. Because if you have a happy customer, they will come back to you, they will repeat.
I will just use the example of a coffee shop. Honduras here has a lot of coffee, and we have one business that is going to be e exporting, already exporting to 35 different countries, already exporting to Starbucks in the United States. And then another person that has a coffee shop. And it is more like a donut shop or a pastry shop. And so, just picture that I am living here, and I like my cup of coffee outside, on the way to work, someplace where it is convenient to get to. But I am going to go where I am a happy customer. I want my quality to be good, I want it to be hot, I do not want to waste a lot of time, I want it quick. And I am happy if I get those things, and guess what is going to happen? I am going to come back.
There is really no reason for me to go to another coffee shop and I should become a regular at that coffee shop. The store owner, the people at the door, the people in that shop should know my name. They should start dialoguing with me because they want me to be a happy customer. And as a happy customer, then I can come back again and spend my money, for, in this case, a cup of coffee, over and that is, obviously, a repeat customer.
Guess what happens? There are occasions that I need to have a meeting. And they will say, “where would you like to meet?” And I will say, “Well, this coffee shop makes me very happy “when I am there, they are very satisfying “with all the things I’ve previously mentioned, “so why don’t we meet at that coffee shop.” And I am kind of bragging on that coffee shop, how I always go there every morning. And now I have introduced that coffee shop to a new customer. And that customer, then, could be a happy customer.
Basically, a repeat customer. You see, I do not think that, when we talk about the subject of marketing and advertising, that we make enough emphasis on the reality that you cannot spend enough money in both marketing or radio ads, which are very expensive, or billboards, or anything that you can imagine is going to be much more costly than just creating happy customers. You should have some basic things that really do not cost. You should have a sign on the outside of your coffee shop, or your store, or your business, so it is clear what you are providing as a service.
If you are in the current world and you have a website, that website should be a good website, it does not have to be overly fancy, but it gives all the information needed for a happy customer. If you have a retail store, you want to look at the store and look from the curb. They call it curb appeal. You want to say, “this sign is clean, the yard’s clean, “it’s appealing, the paint is attractive, the sign tells who, what is being served here, so” Those are things that would be a given, would be understood as just normal things. But then the primary thing after that is happy customers.
Let us talk about my company. I have a machine shop back in the United States. That machine shop makes a profit, I am happy to say. And that profit comes because I have extremely loyal customers that we make sure they are happy. Now, the customer is not the company. The customer is the buyer. That is what we call the person that we interact with. And that is the person that we want to make happy. Now, in this case, quality is number one. We cannot send them bad parts, we understand that. We also must be a good price, and many times they are asking us to lower the price just a little bit, so that makes the customer happy. And we show that we are making effort to provide the part at a lower price. We know our prices, we know our costs, so we are not going to supply it to them below cost. But we are doing that. But there’s also on-time delivery. But the main thing is we are making that buyer inside that customer of ours happy.
They are pleased that they have placed the order with us. They are so pleased that they give us blanket orders for the entire year on many, many parts. Now I am happy because I have something I can plan on. I know I have these parts, these jobs, this work to do all this year at a certain rate, maybe a hundred a month for 12 months. That makes me happy too.
Now, just a little bit about your people that touch, or meet the customer. We have the only real person that comes in contact in my business right now is me. When I go over and visit my contact people there, the buyers and the supply chain managers. But the other person is our delivery person. And our delivery person delivers to the back door. There’s paperwork, there’s forklifts. And we make sure that our delivery, our driver, understands the rules for that company. In some cases, we must block or chalk the wheels. That is just policy. You must get out of the truck, make sure the wheels are blocked. That is policy. We must park in a certain spot. We must have the right paperwork. I mean, each of you will have certain things, if you make a delivery, that are important that go smoothly. because people do not have a lot of time to mess with messed up delivery. That is going to be happy.
And in my case, I had a reason even this last week, because I am the boss, I am the owner, I actually dropped some food, it was some hot pizza, to the people at the dock. These people do not normally get a meal. It is a very simple, inexpensive meal. And I just say, “you’re always being pressed, “every job’s hot.” I, earlier in the day, had delivered a part that was considered hot, like really, urgent. And they said, “Well, everything’s hot.” So, it gave me an idea. I went to the pizza store, I bought two big pizzas, and I put them in individual containers, and I brought back, and I announced, right before lunch, I said, “I’ve got you a hot delivery. “It’s pizza.” These guys are happy.
Now, did I buy them? No, I did not persuade them with something unethical. I just wanted to make sure my people that I am touching with, my company is touching with on a regular basis, is happy. Happy customers are repeat customers. Repeat customers are referral customers. Those two things are going to create more business for you, more return, ongoing, stable business for you, than you could ever pay for with other dollars and cents. It is too obvious when you think about it.
Well, I hope this is beneficial to you. I am glad you are a part of inspiring better business. Again, I am here in Honduras. You will see a little activity in the background. We are here because we believe that the principles and concepts of inspiring better business are globally true. Just like gravity is globally true, just like the law of lift that we use in an airplane, we are presenting global truth. In this case, happy customers around the globe will become repeat customers. Thank you for listening. Please share these, I sure appreciate it. And we are glad to be with you
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