Learning The Art of Business

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Aadina Popalzai

We live in an era where customer is ‘The King’, where delivering order is not just enough!

Customer is not content with just the appetizing food on the platter; his demands are much more. He is gazing for bits that are not been known to him before, or which go beyond fulfilling his needs. “Satisfy a customer’s need and he will leave happily but delight him and he is going to come back smiling”.

ALAS! I failed to spot both the things when it came to Kashmir. Shopkeepers are going to approach you in a mode as if you have been pilfering his stuff or he will be another infuriating person you come across in a market with his disgustingly staring gesture. I have been taught about customer know-how and customer touch points but seriously even their effort of doing that would irritate you sometimes. Who has to be blamed?

The whole world has been transformed from product centric to customer centric and now it is time to make this inclusive concept familiar with Kashmiri people. They need to move beyond selling to endow better service and also to have that lifetime value with them which is now the only way to sustain in a competitive market.

For a product to be in sales, service has to be there. You have to treat customer like a boss. High profit creating organizations don’t have any success formula except providing delightful experience to their customers. In doing such stuff, they put a lot of funds, time and technology. Every possible thing is followed so as to retain and get hold of customers. But we, the people of Kashmir are regrettably still pushing our products. Pull your customers towards your business by providing high class services from warm and courteous greetings to the closing of the sale. When I talk high class service, I mean to say a service without even iota of chances of dissatisfaction or discomfort to them.

I went through a shop in the Khanyar locality in Srinagar. Initially the shopkeeper asked me about my choice in a way as if he is doing some great favor to me. My entire experience in that shop was terrific, though I still chose to buy or else that man would have killed me. After paying up the bill, I promised for my part not to enter that shop next time and I suggested same to all my friends. This way the shopkeeper lost his trade not only from me but many of my known ones and I am sure the same thing has come about to many others. When you delight a customer, the word of mouth of that customer becomes a very powerful thing in acquiring new ones. They go out and appreciate your service and you become famous, especially in Kashmir where usually we go by others. A simple act can make money for you, be that greeting, offering a chair, respecting the sentiments or any other minute act that you have overlooked during selling pushing your product. Treat each customer in such a way that the customer itself turns out to be your brand ambassador. Though if the customer’s requirements are not met once in your shop but still you build up a relationship that when in future the customer feels like buying the product, he/she would come up to you.

Gone are the days when the buying pattern depended on the distance in which your shop was located. Today it doesn’t really mean much if I have to travel few more kilometers for my product, provided I am getting a superior service. We have a shop in our lane that is giving us all the things that we require. But I bother to travel 3 km to reach a shop wherein I feel comfortable in purchasing. The trust with that place has developed over a period of time with all the kind focus I receive there. I enjoy my shopping there without anything distracting me, be that a gazing salesperson or something else.

Let’s wake up and shift ourselves from product to customer. Nowadays, market is customer driven. Instead of forcing our product, let’s design according to the needs of customers. Product isn’t enough to fulfill the desires; you need to give something extra, which is service. Make your customers your promoters by giving them delightful experience. Don’t please those only who procure but also give a wonderful experience to those who are there for just peeping around. That way the customer is either impressed and thus buys your products or else next time, when he actually wants to buy, he would directly come to you. Shift your focus from a push sale to an outlook where customer is the boss. You are not doing any wonder by delivering your product. They are present almost everywhere. But how you put it in front of your customer is what counts your sale.

Author has done her PGPBM from Aegis global Academy (coimbatore,Tamil Nadu) with ITES (information technology enabled services) as his specialization. She has also participated in CPSM batch of IIM indore.

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