In the 14 years since I started SOI, I’ve had the very great privilege of getting to know a great many business owners and watch them develop and grow their businesses a step at a time.
We’ve seen so many of those businesses flourish and grow. Generally, when we’ve first met, the businesses have still been in their infancy/toddlerhood – ie: in the first 2-3 years – a bit of a well-known crunch time for businesses.
And I got to thinking about what it was that made these business owners particularly successful – despite a raft of mitigating factors such as GFCs, tech crashes, high Australian dollars and other unforeseen issues that we’ve all encountered over the last decade or so.
What it seems to come down to is they all focussed on their customers and the relationships they had with them. In the age of the internet, where everyone wants to be as hands-off and as automated as possible, a lot of people seem to have forgotten what great customer care truly looks like.
So I Thought I’d Put Together a List of My Top 7 Ways to Keep Clients Happy.
1. Get to Know Your Customer/Client
Not in a scary way, but in a way that shows you want to do the best possible job for them.
2. Understand What Makes Them Tick
And what they need from you and more importantly why they need it. And here’s the trick – not everyone who buys whatever it is you’re selling buys it for the reason you think. ie: they might by a boat because
a. they want to impress the neighbours
b. it’s been a dream since they were a kid reading a story where the hero had a boat
c. they want to spend more quality time with the family (and it’s only possible when their family can’t actually escape!)
d. they love to fish in the open water
e. their girlfriend/boyfriend/wife/partner, etc want one
3. Be Clear Upfront
About what you’re supplying, when, how, what they’ll be expected to pay for and the terms of working together. Often the biggest issue with relationships is expectations, so the clearer you are before you begin, the less likely you’ll have issues along the way.
4. Do What You Say You’re Going to Do
When you say you’re going to do it – every time. I know this might sound strange, but there are so few business owners out there who actually deliver on this that when we find a supplier who does, they become a partner pretty quickly. And that’s what keeps successful businesses happily ticking along.
5. Apologise When Things Don’t Go the Way You Were Expecting And Find a Solution
Everyone and I mean everyone, has a bad day, or a shipment that doesn’t arrive or whatever it is for you. Communicate as soon as you know there’s an issue, offer a heartfelt apology, find a solution and move on.
6. Help Them When They’re Stuck
Not everything you do requires a bill, especially if it’s just a quick thing. Of course, if they’ve come to rely on that help each week/month, etc, it’s time to contain that.
7. Say Thank You From Time to Time
Write a handwritten thank you card, send a small gift or even just pick up the phone for a chat (yes, people still do that).
And there you have it. It’s quite simple really. If you’re just starting a business – follow those seven points and you’re likely to be successful in no time at all. And if you’ve been in business for a while – congratulations and you’ve probably got your own set of tips you can share (feel free below).
If we can help you find more time in your day to focus on the thing that matters most in your business – your customers – we’d be delighted to talk to you. You can call us on 9994 8000 or drop us a note or I’d be delighted to connect with you on linkedin.