Your attention to customer relationships always pays off – either for you or your competitors.
I recently met with the creative director of a large communications company. She was talking to potential replacements for her current printer and a colleague referred her to me. I asked what the problem was with her existing printer.
Even though she spent between $125,000 to $175,000 annually – healthy revenue for any printer – she didn’t feel appreciated.
She wasn’t looking for fanfare or gratuitous gestures. Her printer’s lack of attention and recognition made her feel awkward whenever they met. The printer was so oblivious that the creative director had to track project milestones, schedule times to check proofs and other routine aspects of the commercial relationship.
We all know we’re supposed to thank customers and make them feel appreciated. However, we shouldn’t be store clerks reciting, “Thank you for allowing us to give you super-duper service and make you feel happy and loved, today.”
Appreciation is not feeling happy and loved. It’s being acknowledged and respected. Appreciation is the foundation for building good relationships that keep customers loyal. It’s far easier and cheaper to hang onto satisfied existing customers than to find new ones.
Many of your competitors offer similar products and services with prices and delivery standards that are on par with yours. Knowing this, how can you continuously keep your current clients and customers from being lured away?
All things being equal, your clients will go where they’re well treated, appreciated and respected. Where they feel at home. In fact, such relationships will surmount some failings on your part.
We’ve all made errors in managing customer relationships. What are your biggest relationship mistakes? Don’t be afraid. Be honest and candid. Feel free to use a pseudonym if you really blew it. Our mistakes are how we learn, right?
What other topics are of interest? Let us know and we’ll try hard to cover them, or get an expert to do it. Want to share your experience? Let us know. We’re eager to share this space.