Ever wonder if your staff’s internal disagreements, disorganization, communication breakdowns and low morale are affecting your customers? Stop wondering and accept it: You can’t hide that negativity from the people who visit your operation. In fact, your customers probably notice those problems more than you do. A lack of teamwork means slower service, more mistakes, rude staff, and an overall negative experience in your business. Team training can turn it around.

Watch Your Word of Mouth

Still, many operations ignore their internal problems while throwing money at marketing schemes to build customer loyalty. Some advice: Don’t waste another dime on advertising until you can improve the competence of your staff through team training. Sure, your external marketing efforts will bring in more customers, but once they experience bad or indifferent service, they won’t likely return. If bad service drives them away, no amount of advertising will motivate them to come back. Even worse, a dissatisfied customer will tell their friends about their experience with your business and those friends won’t be stopping by either.

What One Unhappy Customer Really Costs You

Remember, it’s estimated that only about 4% of dissatisfied customers complain. 96% just go away. What does that mean to your bottom line? Lost sales today, lost sales tomorrow. An excellent loyalty program might entice customers who experience bad service to give you another try, but put yourself in their shoes. How much bad service would you put up with?

Train Before You Advertise

The best strategy to improve customer loyalty isn’t in a gimmick. Take your advertising budget and invest it in improving your staff. By fostering a team-oriented environment and training employees to be team players, you’ll see better communication, improved efficiency, higher morale, and the kind of customer service that will turn a one-time customer into a regular. One step forward — a little time and team training — brings you three steps further by encouraging increased sales and repeat customers.