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The Paradox of Excellence: Advice for a Down Economy

John Todor | Nov 29, 2008 329 views No Comments

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75% of businesses don’t know what their customers of them! That’s according to a report in the recent issue of CustomerStrategy (www.customer-strategy.co.uk).
We have heard this before. A couple of years ago an IBM study showed that 80% of business leaders thought they were doing a good job with customers. BUT, only 8% of their customers agreed.
This has big implication for dealing with a RECESSION.
The CustomerStrategy article focused on measuring customer satisfaction to gain insights. I think it is a little late to be doing that. What is urgent is communicating with your best customers and reaffirming the value of your relationship.
Here is how the
Paradox of Excellence
comes in to the picture. This is the title of a book by David Mosby and Michael Weissman where they argue that great performance by a company can kill business. For example, as an Internet Service Provider you might be providing excellent service, few failures, quick fixes and reasonable prices. Unfortunately, for you, the customer comes to expect this from you and forget just how good you are. Before you think it doesn’t happen in your business, give the idea some thought.
Now we are in a recession and people are becoming conservative with their money. A competitive ISP promotes low prices and catches the attention of your best customers. This could be a formula for churn when businesses can least afford it.
Mosby and Weissman suggest businesses find ways to get their value “top-of-mind.” This is doubly true in an economic downturn. Sometimes all you have to do is make contact with your customers and ask them how they are doing and whether your service or product is coming through for them. Now is a good time!
The same principle applies to all those great connections you’ve made over the years. In all likelihood, these connections are nicely organized in Linkedin or another Social Network. Now would be a great time to forward a new paper on a common interest to show them that your remember them and care. Keep in mind that relationships that aren’t kindled, dwindle.

Here is a new report where you can learn more about The Importance of the Customer Experience in a Down Economy.

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