Delight your customers
“A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of them all”. Knowing in detail what your customers want from your business is of paramount importance.
Get it right and it will safeguard profits, generate long term income streams and motivate the team.
Get it wrong and they will move elsewhere, forcing your business into short term defensive actions such as discounting, over promising and under delivering. If you are not taking care of your customers, your competitors surely will.
Who are your ideal customers
“All customers are equal, but some are more equal than others.” Take the time to review what it is that your ideal customer looks like. Here are a few ideas:
1. They are more profitable than others
2. They are less price sensitive
3. The service levels are less demanding
4. They are more stable
5. They fit your business model
Once you know what it is they want from you, you can then focus everything you do to deliver it.
Value – the competitive differentiator
The purpose of your business is to create and then delight a customer. Customers want, and are willing to pay over the odds for, value. Whether it is a commodity or a bespoke offering, there is value to be unearthed and paid for.
An important note. Value is determined by the customer, not by your business. They know what they want and how much it is worth to them. If they are willing to pay for it then all fine and dandy. If not, then they walk as soon as an opportunity presents itself.
Delight your customers
Time spent in getting to know your customers wants and needs is seldom wasted. Regular and frequent discussions will yield clues as to their changing demands. Take the time to build the relationship rather than focusing every meeting and conversation on closing the sale.
Customers are for life
Client life time value is the net profit you generate over the lifetime of the customers journey with you. It adds up. If you take into account the potential for business growth, up selling, cross selling, referrals, recommendations and margin engineering, it can seriously add up.
It makes sense then to keep a good customer for as long as possible.
Promoting your brand to your customers
Your brand is in the minds of your customers. It is so much more than your logo, colour scheme of strap line. Your brand is the sum of all the interactions, relationships, exchanges both good and bad.
When they see your brand when dealing with an issue, they bring to mind the most recent exchanges and act in response to them. Keeping them happy is therefore an ongoing and serious management task.
A delighted customer receiving a value-add offering stays. An unhappy customer walks away.
Advance the relationship
“I won’t remember what you said, I won’t even remember what you did. But I will remember how you made me feel.” Make no mistake, business is emotional as well as rational. There is no such thing as a perfect market or perfect information. People are fickle, unpredictable and are prone to hide their true feelings.
Take time and effort to advance the relationship. Not just continue it by which we mean short term discussions over tactical issues. Advancing the relationship means that they move along a planned journey with clearly determined milestones, measurable deliverables and long term value embedded in them.