Today I visited a private bank in Bangalore. There was a person who wanted to open a savings account with the bank and deposit some money. The bank manager went on to inform him that the bank can open a savings account and accept his deposit only if an existing customer of the bank recommends.
Here is someone who walks up to your office offering business and the manager almost refuses the business or is willing to do business on conditions.
I think this is what happens to a lot of other organizations as well. As the organization gets more process driven, the processes can stifle your growth and it can become difficult for your customers to do business with you.
I think it is now time for us to stop and take stock of the situation and ask questions like:
· Do we make it easier for our customers to work with us or the other way around?
· Do we make customers wait in queues to do business with us?
· Do we make them fill-out form after form?
· Do we make it difficult for the customer to reach the right person within our organization?
· Do we have multiple people talking to a customer, each talking about a different product/service?
· How easy it is for our customers to understand the contract?
· Can they understand the language of the contract themselves or do they need lawyers for this?
· How long is the contract negotiation process?
· How do we treat our customers once they sign the contract?
· How easy is it to start using the product/service that we have sold to them?
· Does the customer already know whom to contact in case something did not work?
· How easy/difficult is it for the customer to receive invoice and release the payments?
· How easy is it for customers who want to give repeat business with us?
· How easy is it for customers to refer new vendors/customers/partners to us?
· Do we reward customers who spread the word about us and bring in new business for us?
· How difficult is it for customers to find the product that they want in your store (online or offline)?
I can go on and on with the list of questions, but the crux of the matter is this:
“Make it easier for your customers to do business with you”
This can improve your customer satisfaction and will result in customers who would love to do business with you at every available opportunity and will also refer new customers for you.
They could be the best sales team that you could ever hire.