Monday 24 May 2010

10 Reasons Why Your Customers Are Like Poodles

Yesterday was a lovely sunny morning here in Warwickshire, so I thought the dogs would be looking forward to a walk by the river. Unfortunately I could only find one of them. Daisy, the toy poodle, had once again snuck under the supposedly poodle proof netting and escaped to see our neighbours. She was sat on their sofa being hand fed biscuits and watching re-runs of soaps on TV. It didn't matter how much I yelled "walkies" or Milly barked, Daisy wasn't moving.

Milly the elderly dalmatian and I had a nice peaceful walk, and the local rabbits were allowed to frolic without being chased by 2.5kg of kinetic energy personified.

Being me, I twittered about this.

Being an ITSM peep @glennodonnell co-author of The CMDB Imperative twittered back:

Sounds like the poodle found a better customer experience at the neighbor's house! 

What eventually enticed her back was providing a better experience for a different customer. As soon as I began cooking bacon for the two legged members of the Finister family she was back in our house like a flash.

As Glen said when I published the good news of the prodigal poodle's return:

See what happens when you improve the customer experience? The customer returns. There is an ITSM lesson here!

I think there is more than one ITSM lesson to be learnt, and here are 10 of them:

  1. However hard you try and fence your customers in they will still be curious about what is on the other side of the fence.
  2. The more you try and fence them in the more convinced they will become that what is on the other side is worth finding out about.
  3. The customer will make the effort to find out what other suppliers are offering
  4. The first time you'll find this out is when you see the customer cosying up to their new supplier.
  5. You won't get the customer back by just offering more of the same.
  6. Just because one  incumbent customer is happy with your service it doesn't mean others will be.
  7. Make a direct plea to them to come back and you face a dialogue ending rejection
  8. Openly providing an enhanced service to another customer can attract old customers back, even, he said in full on cynic mode, if the enhanced service isn't immediately available to the returnee. Think loyalty cards, for example.
  9. Customers defect for short term gain, they don't know they are supposed to care about total quality of service. 
  10. Don't relax. Always keep your ears and eyes open to what the customer is up to.

If you can hear a noise in the background, that's Daisy howling because she's spotted a sausage left on the BBQ.

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