5 Questions Retailers Must Tackle to Attract and Retain Customers
Most companies want to be customer centric. The biggest roadblock to achieving that goal is breaking down the silos that exist in most companies. Sometimes these are lines of business, divisions, departments or regions. It may be as simple as your organization structure and who reports to whom. If your company is looking to overcome this challenge, then this set of five questions to ask and answer is for you.
1. Do you believe your customers are an asset or cost center? Many companies really don't think about the lifetime value of their customer. Rather than thinking about the long-term value, managing their customers as an asset, they might nickel and dime that customer with a $50 service charge or a $200 fee for something created from a policy that might have made sense made inside of a silo, but when you realize that you might be driving away a $5 million customer or a $20,000 customer, that decision doesn't make sense.
Zane's Cycles is an example of a company that really does embrace managing customers as a true asset. You can go into its Branford, Conn. store and ask to take a $4,000 bike out for a test ride, and all they say to you is, "Have a great ride." It doesn't ask you for any collateral, your identification. Zane's wants you to have a great ride because it knows that a customer, if the relationship is managed properly, is worth $12,500 over their lifecycle to the brand. Now that's a lot of bikes and parts. Zane's doesn't want to get in the way of starting that relationship — and very profitable revenue chain — by questioning a customer's integrity. This policy has served Zane's well. It's grown to be a very profitable company and, most importantly, it only loses about three bikes a year.