Massive wealth opportunity for business owners

Business growth specialist, Richard Denny, shares his thoughts with The Franchise Magazine on how franchise owners and franchisors can transform the challenging customer satisfaction situation into a profitable opportunity.

I am often asked “what is the single biggest challenge facing business owners in the current economic climate?” In this article, I am going to share with you my belief and hopefully turn that challenge into a tangible massive wealth opportunity.

The challenge is to keep existing customers and attract new ones. “Well,” you may say, “so what, that’s always been the case,” and you are possibly right, but the challenge is now to really be customer led. The power is with the customer, not the supplier, retailer or provider. The Internet has exploded traditional trading behaviours and patterns. We are all aware of the gradual erosion of historic High Street trading, as town centres display ‘for sale’ or ‘to let’ signs. This is the age of the customer, and in order to firstly survive, and then take market share or even grow a new market, the business owner must develop a philosophy and culture of truly being customer led. Before any decision is taken, one starts off in the customer’s shoes. Tom Peters has been quoted as saying: “It is the greatest kept secret in the global economy today that if you can provide awesome customer care, you will need new suitcases to carry all the money home.”

For franchise business owners, this is a massive wealth opportunity, as you can now really beat the competition because the franchise business is of a size to be flexible, adaptable and close enough to the customer to understand and respond to their needs, hopes and expectations. The franchise business does not hide behind the spurious cliché of “we pride ourselves in our service.” The franchise business strives to make their customers really happy and receive good value for the product or service provided.

In the age of the customer, satisfied consumers can be the fastest route to obscurity. For years, customer satisfaction has been the pursuit of mediocre businesses. Costly satisfaction surveys have been commissioned by organisations to confirm what they were striving for – THE SATISFIED CUSTOMER. Research has recently uncovered that 80 per cent of the so-called ‘satisfied customers’ will switch to a competitor given the choice or opportunity. The reality check is, that just because a customer is satisfied, mediocrity has been achieved. However, customer loyalty has not been deserved or achieved.

In this short article it is impossible to deliver a comprehensive programme on customer care and how to deliver an awesome service, but let me whet your appetite. Customer care can be the least expensive and the best value for money option available, as well as the cheapest activity and the greatest wealth creator that any business can embrace. Just as a starter, JUST THINK CARE – and I mean REALLY CARE: Follow that with something you didn’t have to do. This could be a tangible extra or a kind, thoughtful gesture.

If you want loyal customers, don’t expect them. You have to earn loyalty. One of the eight laws of success states: “What you hand out in life, you get back.”