Anticipation and Satisfaction: 2 Important Pillars for 2015

The great thing about a new year is that you can start “fresh” – or at least feel fresh and new.

I’ve been thinking lately – what if I could better anticipate what my customers wanted and ensure 100 percent satisfaction of my service to them. Is this possible?

I think it is.

But first, here’s why it’s important.

Too many times business owners are in a reactionary mode toward their customers. The customer buys something and the business orders more stock. Or worse, the customer wants to buy something and the business is out of stock.

In the case of satisfaction, a customer gives the business a bad review on Yelp, TripAdvisor, or some other review site. Sadly, the bad review would not have occurred had the business owner (and staff) had systems in place to find out if the customer was happy (or not) with the service they received.

Let’s see how this works in reality.

From January 1 through 3, I stayed at a bed-and-breakfast with my wife – we had a great time. This was the first time I had stayed at this particular B&B. How would anticipation and satisfaction work for this B&B?

They’d first send me a survey asking me some easy but important questions about my stay. If I was thrilled they’d follow up and ask me to refer friends. If I was not happy, they’d ask why and work to resolve the problem. That’s the satisfaction part of a proper customer relationship management (CRM) process.

Now comes the anticipation.

In my survey they could find out WHEN I might want to stay at the B&B again. Like ProFlowers.com they could ask for some key dates in my life – anniversary, birthday, Valentine’s Day (they already know that) – and of course know if I plan to come to the B&B as a regular New Year’s event. With this information in their system they could ANTICIPATE when I might want to stay with them again – and appropriately reach out to me to stay with them.

See how anticipation and satisfaction work?

By asking the right questions you can satisfy your customers and anticipate what they want.

By anticipating what your customers want you can drive sales and give your customers more of what they want.

A customer relationship management tool is powerful. However, if you don’t know your business needs and processes and implement your CRM system accordingly, it won’t work for you.

If you already have a CRM system in place and it’s not working for you – ask your vendor and/or a CRM marketing consultant. If you don’t have a CRM system in place, and know it’s time to get one, there’s many vendors who can assist. My quick list is: Infusionsoft, Salesforce.com, Insight.ly, and Zoho CRM.

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