Page 4: Building customer value
Every business needs to attract and keep customers. Any organisation must:
- keep the business ahead of its competitors
- design products to satisfy customers’ needs and requirements
- ensure that customers remain loyal by treating them fairly and openly
- create a reputation for caring about their customers
- reassure customers that their purchase decisions have been good ones
- And, in the case of a financial institution like a building society, it must look after its customers’ money and keep it safe.
In business there is no better publicity for an organisation and its products than 'word of mouth'. A company grows in proportion to its ability to acquire contented customers. The route to success therefore involves:
- finding out what consumers want – market research
- meeting these requirements – product research, development and quality assurance
- creating and fostering loyal customers – customer service and customer care
- ensuring that new customers know about the organisation and its products – advertising and promotion, including “word of mouth”.
Today, friends and neighbours talk to each other about financial services products. For example, they discuss pension arrangements, savings plans, household insurance, arrangements for buying a house, ways of saving money for a “rainy day”, for children to go to university – and many other topics. The successful organisation depends on its existing customers becoming advocates for its products. Advocates can only be created by ensuring that existing customers receive the best value for money. This is an area in which Britannia has been particularly successful at in recent times. Contented customers have been the best advertisement for the Society.