If there’s anyone who knows the recipe for longevity in business, it’s marketing expert Douglas James. Known as the “High-Ticket Client Guy”, James has served as a successful entrepreneur for over six years, and has used his marketing expertise to coach over 1,500 entrepreneurs on how to grow their own businesses. His specialty is helping small business land high-paying customers. According to James, the secret to longevity in business boils down to one simple thing: customer service.
“Customer care: I say it’s the backbone to literally everything I do in my business,” he says. “Customer service is the number one thing that’s going to separate you from everyone else in the marketplace, no matter what you do or what you sell. It’s why I’m still in business today.”
While many entrepreneurs prioritize other aspects of their business, like advertising or quality control, nothing else will matter if you have a reputation for bad customer service. “You need to fully focus and hone in on the people that are giving you their hard-earned dollars,” he says. “If those people aren’t happy and fulfilled, if there’s not a problem that you’re solving for them, if they don’t feel like they’re getting what they need out of you, then they’re not going to stick around or have great things to say about you.”
James attributes his success to the thousands of positive reviews and testimonials he has received from satisfied customers. “If I had no one saying anything, or people saying the opposite, then I simply wouldn’t be in business. It’s just the truth of the matter,” he says. “So I think that anyone in business needs to take that to heart and fix it ASAP. Start focusing on your customers and getting them the results that they deserve.”
If you’re still unconvinced of the power of customer service, here are some statistics for you:
- Attracting a new customer is 6-7 times more costly than retaining an existing one
- 62% of customers will warn others of their bad experience with a company
- It takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience
- On average, Americans will tell 9 others about a positive consumer experience, and 16 others about a negative one
- 91% of customers will simply leave and take their business elsewhere without complaining
James offers 3 rules for customer service:
“Always deliver what is promised. If you don’t deliver something a customer has paid for, they’ll think you’re a fraud and they’re going to despite it or demand a refund,” says James.
“If a customer has a question, comment or concern, you have to let their voice be heard,” he says. “So have an efficient platform and a team in place so that they can ask questions, make comments, write reviews or concerns so that you can address those problems. If they linger and you don’t fix those problems right away, customers or going to write about it or ask for a refund.”
“It’s important to maintain consistent communication with your clients and your customers. It doesn’t have to be every single waking moment, but there should be a time and place. It could be bi-monthly, monthly, or bi-annually, depending on what your product or service is,” he says. “Consistent communication shows the customer that you’re invested into their success, and that you want to maintain their happiness and comfort. And that actually gives you more of an opportunity to create more value for them and upsell them into further products and services.”