How quickly we forget. Business owners who expect to be treated as valued customers when spending their hard earned dollars are often the biggest offenders when it comes to treating their own customers with gratitude and respect. Their cashiers act bored and detached; customer service representatives are abrupt; ads are often deceptive; websites are difficult to navigate and money is never refunded cheerfully. If they were consumers visiting their own businesses, they would most likely run the other way. “It’s hard to put yourself in the role of the customer when running a business, but it’s absolutely imperative that you do if you want to succeed,” says Gayle Naftaly , president of Queens-based access.office.
She would know. Her company recently branched out into one of the hottest fields in the corporate arena – Customer Relationships Management. “Customer Relationships Management makes absolute sense, yet it is so often overlooked in both small and large businesses,” says Ms. Naftaly . “In today’s economy, every customer must be courted or they’ll go elsewhere. I’ve seen so many cases of companies offering very low prices yet they’re bleeding customers because they treat them poorly.”
Customer Relationships Management is a business strategy designed to work off the synergy of people, processes, and technology with the goal of winning new customers, retaining existing ones and dramatically increasing overall profitability. Customer Relationships Management uses touchpoints to gauge the impact of the consumer experience. Each time a customer comes into contact with some aspect of the business a touchpoint is created. A positive touchpoint can be a warm and welcoming salesperson or a friendly voice answering the phone. It can be a discount coupon or a certificate for a free item that’s cheerfully honored or a satisfaction guaranteed statement that puts the customer at ease. Gayle Naftaly and her team’s job is to turn negative touchpoints into positive ones and create new and innovative touchpoints to draw the customer in and keep him or her coming back. “We identify gaps and bottlenecks and create events and opportunities to reach out to existing customers,” she says.
Virtually any business can benefit from Customer Relationships Management and access.office works with them all. A company on a tight budget will get a customized report with detailed suggestions on ways to improve their touchpoints, while one with a larger budget can implement those suggestions by engaging the access.office.