When I first entered the job market as a twenty-something year old, I was fortunate to be hired to work for one of the Fortune 500 companies. As a fresh, college educated employee, I was selected to participate in the company’s management program – a program designed to train potential candidates to advance within the organization to upward levels of management. It was called the Leadership Development Program (LDP). As an LDP, a formal training track was integrated into the program and customer satisfaction was a component of the plan.
During that time, the powers that be understood the direct correlation between customer satisfaction and sales. They also understood that customer relationships needed to be managed and nurtured.
That was almost 30 years ago. Today, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the latest buzz. CRM has resulted in sophisticated tracking programs that provide all kinds of data – everything, from what a person eats for breakfast to what kind of car he drives. With all of this data and information available, why is customer satisfaction at an all-time low?
I believe that the art of creating customer loyalty has been lost. We live in an era of the quick sale, the immediate gratification. Quotas for sales takes precedent to building a customer base. When was the last time that you received a phone call after a sale to gauge your experience? If you are like most, this happens far less often than it should.
How do we fix it? The front line employee must be empowered. Tomorrow, I will give you strategies and tools to transform your sales team into brand ambassadors.
Until then, imagine the Infinite Possibilities.