Russ Dantu's Tips for Alleviating Customer Pain Points
In his presentation "Eliminate the Ow! For Customers," customer service expert Russ Dantu, owner of Synergy Solutions, guided distributors through hands-on exercises to eliminate pain points from their sales process and make their business more attractive to prospective customers.
He began the education session by dividing the room into four groups, where distributors listed qualities they believe their end-buyer clients are looking for in a distributor. These included things like timeliness, trust, integrity, communication, professionalism, transparency and quick turnaround.
In those same groups, he asked distributors to name a few common complaints they've heard from customers. These included things like quality of the finished product, price gauging, missed deadlines, etc.
Though these aren't things distributors can just snap their fingers and magically solve for their clients (though they'd probably love to), Dantu said some problems can be alleviated with as simple of a solution as responding quickly to messages via email or even social media.
"We look at that and we choose to ignore it," he said. "If we reply, it goes a long way to fixing relationships."
He also pointed out what he calls the "4 P's" for a purchase:
- Have the right product
For having the right product, he recounted a time he was buying a car, and the salesman was trying to push him into a vehicle he didn't want. He had shown up knowing exactly what model he wanted, and the salesman kept trying to show him another.
He also told a story about one time he went to the eye doctor, and related it to how distributors should keep their business's physical location neat and presentable if they have one (which he said they should).
After an exam, the doctor told Dantu that he needed glasses, and he could go into the showroom area to pick some out.
"I went into the washroom, and the bin was overflowing, the sink had soap scum on it, and the toilet looked like it hadn't been cleaned in weeks," he said. "I walked out of there and never got glasses from them."
Even though the bathroom might not be something you think relates to your business, it all reflects on you as a distributor and your professionalism. The way you dress, too, is something Dantu said should always be taken into account.
This doesn't mean you should show up in a suit and tie for every meeting, but understanding what your client expects from you as a service provider goes a long way to establish trust that you can provide a level of service they want.
Finally, he provided a list of impressive statistics that many distributors might not be aware of, but could make a big difference when it comes to informing their decisions during sales.
- For every customer complaint, there are 26 other unhappy customers who will remain silent.
- Seventy percent of buying experiences are based on how the customers feel they are being treated.
- Fifty-five percent of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience.
- Eighty percent of your company's future revenue will come from just 20 percent of existing customers.
- Seventy percent of companies ignore complaints on Twitter.
- Eighty-three percent of complaints that received a reply on social media liked or loved the fact that the company responded.
- A 5 percent increase in customer retention can increase a company's profitability by 75 percent.
- The estimated cost of customers switching their choice of business providers due to poor service is $1.6 trillion.
- Seventy-five percent of customers think that brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent customer experience.
- Seventy-four percent of people are likely to switch brands if they find the purchasing process too difficult.
It's not always a simple fix, but Dantu's message boiled down to professionalism, a competent staff that shares your company's values and open communication can be a tremendous difference maker for your business.