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Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ Category

Customers For Life – Just Rescue Them

What is the lifetime value of one of your customers? Whether you sell a $1,000 product or offer a $10,000 service, most customers have much more potential than their one time encounter with you. Most will buy your product or use your service over and over again. Let’s take a website for instance. Let say you develop websites and you charge $5,000 for each. It’s pretty conservative to say that companies will update their website at least every three years. Using that math in the next 15 years you will have developed five new websites for that customer and they have become a $25,000 customer. When you start to think of customers as lifetime customers they become more important don’t they. The question is will they buy from you again… Will they use your company again and again and again?

There are several key elements in making your clients ‘Customers For Life’ like providing fanatical service, under promise/over deliver and making them feel like your only customer. I’ll post more on these later but today I want to focus on one of the best ways you can endear a client to you and that’s when you’ve blown it, when you’ve really messed up. I’m big on over the top customer service and most companies provide mediocre service at best so it doesn’t take a lot extra to shine in this area but what will make you really stand out is what you do once you’ve let the customer down. It doesn’t matter what it is… you missed the deadline, you over promised and under delivered, or you just dropped the ball… This happens to all of us from time to time regardless of our best intentions. But what do you do next? Own it and do whatever it takes to make it right. This is the moment where most will shy away from communication. You communicate more. Pick up the phone, drive down the street and tell them the truth. Then tell them how you are going go out of your way to fix it, and then do it. This kind of integrity is rare and you will stand out. This is the kind of person we all want to do business with. ‘The person I can count on when things aren’t going right.’

What I’ve just described is true with some of our best and oldest clients. I cannot overstate to you how powerful this is. I talked about this with a couple of people in my office the other day and we joked about the fact that we were going to plan a little “mishap” with each new client so we can have the opportunity to rescue them.

This doesn’t mean customers will give you the opportunity to mess up all the time. They won’t! But when the rare instance happens and you let the customer down don’t miss the opportunity you have to secure that customer for life.

Take A Great Customer Experience Into Your Relationships

Question: How do you deliver a great customer experience?
Answer: Exceed the customers’ expectations.

This is the simplest most powerful business formula I know but as simple as it sounds, 99 times out of 100 it is your fault if the customer isn’t satisfied.  You have complete control over what your customer expects. You tell them; what will be done, when it will be done, how much it will cost etc. You get to set the playing field, you make the rules, and you are in total control. The secret is making sure you have planned ahead enough to anticipate things that may cause delays or cause the price to change and following through on what you’ve said. Last but not least put some icing on the cake… Plan ahead to add that little bit extra or to deliver it a bit early. You know exactly what the customer is expecting (you told them what to expect remember) so take that and create raving fans for your business by planning in advance to give them just a little more.

Always remember that customers NEVER get upset when their expectations are being set, ONLY when they are not met. So give yourself some extra time or “padding” when setting the customers’ expectations. At dataBridge if a customer isn’t happy it’s our fault. We’ve done something wrong. And if we’re honest it usually boils down to not being able to deliver what we’ve promised when we’ve promised it.

So take this formula home with you. What’s your spouse expecting from you? This one gets a little trickier because if you’ve been married for a while there are two answers to that question.  One is what you’ve said and the other is what they know to be true based on your actions. Either way you have set their expectations (for better or worse). If you give it some thought you can come up with a pretty good idea what they are expecting. Take that and add something to it. Exceed his or her expectations tonight. Then do it again tomorrow. A card, the dishes, your undivided attention… It’s that easy. It’s that powerful.

What are your kids expecting from you? Ditto!

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