The Sunday Mail
Dr Kudzanai Vere
WHEN we talk of a business, we should bear in mind that customers play a pivotal role. You can disregard them at your own peril. Always strive to come up with ways of delighting your customers to the extent that they would even want to accompany you home after spending all they have on your product or service.
I have come up with a concept that can be used to maximise return on customers — the Pachedu approach.
P — Provide the best solution in the market
I often tell people that customers are not interested in products but in the solution the goods provide. You need to make sure your product or service is providing the best solution and answer to the challenges affecting your market.
In order to be relevant in the marketplace, your solution has to be unique, timely and on point. It is how powerful your solution is that ultimately determines your return on customers.
A — Attract customers through exceptional service
You cannot attract customers to your business by talking bad about your competitors. Exceptional customer service leaves a lasting impression on customers’ minds, which will always remind them of your existence each time they encounter a similar problem.
Your employees need to be exceptional in handling customers to the extent of creating lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with them. Customer loyalty comes from the way you discharge your duties when they visit your business.
C — Continuously improve
on all fronts
Customers align with those who keep on improving the way they do their business. In order to continuously have the customer’s vote, you also need to continuously improve on all fronts. You have to thoroughly work on your product and service range, bearing in mind that the market is not all yours. There are other upcoming and resident players in the same market and industry. You need to always be appealing to the customer. Every piece of technology relevant in your business, use it for the benefit of your customers.
H — Hear all they say and work upon delighting them
One thing that customers demand is your ear. Customers want to be heard. You have to make sure you pay particular attention to what they say. Maximise on the time you have with your customers. Mind you, they are the ones whom you opened that business for. Even if it means they are enquiring on your products and services, listen and respond accordingly.
I once said in my entrepreneurship book, “Exceed beyond the ordinary: A step by step guide to becoming a high voltage entrepreneur”, “An enquiry is a near sale.” You need to be able to convert most of your conversation with customers into sales.
E — Execution efficiency
Every customer needs efficient service delivery. Serve them professionally and efficiently in the shortest possible time and you will win their hearts. Customers have other things to do, so it is important to value their time through timeous delivery of products and services.
In most cases, customers frequent places where they are taken seriously.
In this competitive world, it is inappropriate to have a winding queue at your business. A queue is a sign of inefficiency. It is a huge sign of psychological backwardness and immaturity in business, coupled with lack of conscience. Why can’t you just add more workers or machines for execution efficiency?
D — Decide to be different always (Be innovative)
In a recent employee productivity session, I shared the following: “You don’t need to have one way of greeting customers 365 days a year.”
Sticking to one way becomes monotonous and shows lack of innovation on the part of the company. Choose to be different always. Come up with new ways of doing things. Do not be ordinary when it comes to business. Bring out the uniqueness that you were created with. Differentiate your services, marketing and display of your merchandise from the shop next door.
U — Understand customer buyer behaviours
The understanding of the psychological processes associated with the customers’ buying behaviour is of paramount importance if an organisation is to maximise its return on customers. Knowledge of the customer’s decision processes is foundational in any organisation. Purchase and stocking decisions are informed by input from the consumer buyer behaviour. This is where most businesses get it wrong. They stock what they think sells, and not what customers really want.
The Pachedu approach to maximising return on customers is a proven approach that has worked for various organisations. Customers are an essential component of the business matrix and they should be treated likewise. Without customers, there is no business to talk about.
Dr Kudzanai Vere is the CEO of Kudfort Zimbabwe, programmes director at the Institute of Entrepreneurs Zimbabwe, a published author of four books and a transformational speaker in the areas of entrepreneurship and business, organisation development, leadership development, personal development and financial literacy. He can be contacted on +263719592232 or [email protected]