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Customer Acquisition and Retention

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The Customer Experience

If there’s one book that cracked and firmed me up at the same time is Kevin Hart’s ‘I can’t make this up’ Click To Tweet It’s a gel of humour and serious inspiration.

In one chapter he points out the difficulty of achieving success and that, what’s more, difficult is succeeding consistently or better still, remaining at the top. A couple of days ago, French retailer Carrefour which is the world’s second-largest retailer, received complaints from a disappointed customer in its Karen, Nairobi branch. The customer claimed to have been mistreated by a fellow customer in the presence of the employees who, unfortunately, did not control the situation. Owing to this, social media went ablaze with people expressing their disappointments on the outlet in general and some customers promising never to go back. What’s worse, potential customers were grateful to have never been associated with the outlet in the first place.

Customer Acquisition and Retention

This is a danger to the giant retailer, Carrefour, majorly because it is losing its non-customers and their loyal customers at the same time. Repeat consumers are the backbone of every business as they keep the businesses afloat. Click To Tweet For that reason, they should be retained by all means and any defection that occurs must be handled promptly and discreetly. Businesses just as people learn through mistakes and overlooked loopholes. What matters is how fast they recoil.

How does a company in such a situation redeem itself in the eyes of the consumers?

Customers’ end:

First and foremost, an apology to the direct victim is mandatory and a general one to all the customers. The management should make it clear that they care about their customers who are all equal in essence and that the management shall not condone behaviours that go against this. Additionally, a relevant incentive can further be issued to the victim and this may seal the deal.

Brand’s end:

Fix the broken process.

In this case that would be the fraud hiring process and embracing the culture. When introducing a business to a new location with a new culture, apart from market research, hire someone locally who will be an active part of the team to help comprehend how things work around that location or hire someone who will be present. Someone who is easily accessible. Get representatives on every aisle, floor and departments whose sole responsibility is to handle immediate customer needs.

Managing people remotely slow down the process of conflict management. Conflicts in businesses are inevitable, it is through them that businesses are well understood and built, but how fast you fix them determines the rate of your success and your customer retention ability.

In addition, empowering staff at every level is a great way to improve customer retention and enhance productivity in service delivery. In the Carrefour case scenario, the cashier would have handled this matter there and then. There is a sense of accountability and ownership that comes when the staff is empowered.

A Company

With such staff has less to worry about because the staff actually cares about the products, services and clients. How ready is your staff to take up responsibilities? Do you give them reasons to want responsibility? Are they well trained? It is said, customers are the boss, but critically, the staff run the show. Happy staff, happy customer.


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