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.