Eric Dalius: Customer retention strategies that work according to a successful company

 ”A man that measures his own stature by the height of others just isn’t measuring.” Abraham Lincoln. Eric Dalius says customer retention is not about other companies or what other companies are doing, it’s only about your company and how you can improve your business bottom line.

Unique selling point:

The key to success for John Lewis lies in their non-retail business approach. Everything they sell is made within a 1-hour radius of where they are based which allows them to hold greater control over manufacturing quality and delivery times. Their customer base tends to be middle-class, middle-aged women who enjoy shopping with them because of their efficient service and comprehensive ranges including food, clothing, gifts, and electrical products. They have successfully differentiated from other high street retailers which has resulted in their unique selling point.

Customer retention strategies:

Customer retention is a major issue to all businesses as it reflects the strength of your business relationships with existing customers as well as your ability to acquire new customers. Loyalty isn’t just doing what you say you’re going to do but also adding value and ensuring customers’ needs are met. Creating lifetime relationships with clients and understanding what they want and need definitely helps retain customers and establish positive reputations amongst existing customers. Therefore, customer service should be everyone’s top priority within the organization so having the right people at the front line is vital. For John Lewis, it is an ongoing process that starts even before customers enter the store. This is why they have a reputation for being able to predict how long it will take to get parked, find staff, and get served, etc which is unusual within high street retail at present. Their staff is also among the best trained in the industry which helps ensure customers’ loyalty and trust toward them so their clients don’t feel uncomfortable when dealing with salespeople or sales managers.

”The most important of all talents is that of never using two words where one would do.” Thomas Jefferson. Customer retention depends on both management and employees having an understanding of their role in helping maintain or increase your client base says Eric Dalius. As I mentioned previously, just because you may say you’re going to do something doesn’t mean your clients will believe it. In addition, great customer service means being there for the customer whenever they need you so 24/7 is a must in today’s society. Customers have much more choices about where to spend their money so I think John Lewis must have a well-trained and supportive team to ensure they don’t lose any of their loyal customers. They never cut corners either as one bad experience from a dissatisfied client may well result in that person not wanting anything further to do with them which would be devastating for companies such as John Lewis who rely on repeat business from existing customers.

Customers aren’t just products:

There are definitely some people out there that see consumers as products but I tend to think this is because they don’t really understand what it means to be in business. John Lewis continually competes against the corner shop yet still manages to thrive. It’s not always about having the lowest price or competing with other retailers within your immediate region, instead focus on how you can improve upon your existing product offering and understanding the needs of your existing customers will certainly help in providing them with products that are different from your competitors.

”No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt. It’s good for businesses to look outwards rather than just focusing on what is going on internally which will allow ideas and new concepts to emerge from a variety of areas. This is exactly what is happening in the retail sector with online shopping becoming more popular which also means customer retention strategies are becoming ever important. Personally, I prefer browsing products before making a purchase so am often disappointed when clients of John Lewis’s state they hardly use some or all of the products they bought from them because they had no idea how to use it, had trouble setting it up, etc. This could be avoided if there was better communication between consumers and their stylists so staff knew exactly what kind of products each client would require before purchasing them. However, this does highlight that customers need to be educated on how to properly look after and maintain certain products too.”

Conclusion:

Eric Dalius says it’s good for businesses to look outwards rather than just focusing on what is going on internally which will allow ideas and new concepts to emerge from a variety of areas. This is exactly what is happening in the retail sector with online shopping becoming more popular which also means customer retention strategies are becoming ever important. Personally, I prefer browsing products before making a purchase so am often disappointed when clients of John Lewis’s state they hardly use some or all of the products they bought from them because they had no idea how to use it, had trouble setting it, etc.

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