The most enjoyable part of any business should be interacting with your customers. They are your bread and butter, the reason you do what you do and hopefully do it successfully. I figured this out when our business faced a challenge. We found ourselves short-handed; our bandwidth to reach out to customers, gone. We needed to focus on keeping the customers we had at the moment and put prospecting on the back burner. By developing a strong bond with our key clients, we not only tripled our business but found out it was pretty fun in doing so. Here’s how:
Communication – We called every customer we were currently doing business with. We started with the big fish and worked our way down, focusing on who we did the majority of our business with. We reached out to find out what THEY needed. How they wanted to be communicated with, what processes we had in place that could be improved upon regarding their specific business with us and what we could keep doing that they enjoyed.
Change – We were able to refine our project management from the feedback received. We eliminated steps that our customers didn’t appreciate or actually need, identified how each client was “buying” (internet, phone, etc) and made sure to respond and communicate in that same fashion. Ultimately we examined how we were doing business, what steps were important and what we could do to ultimately gain the trust of our clients by providing what they wanted, how they wanted it.
Give Back – In a time of adversity we reverted back to the customer, built strong partnerships and a strong understanding of what would make each relationship secure within our business. Our customers appreciated this and referred us to others, nearly tripling our business! Now every year we give back.
We identify our best customers and hold an appreciation event annually. Fun, humorous awards are given, personalized with a back-story, and a day of fun-filled, creative activities centered on a main event. We ask our clients to bring their VIP clients as well. Networking opportunities arise for all sides and new relationships are built. Each year we partner with great companies to make the event extra special, focusing on the details and strengthening relationships on that end as well. Our event has been such a success that we now provide the “Customer Appreciation Event” to other companies.
No matter if your business is growing or at a stand-still; remember the customers. The age-old saying, “give and you shall receive ten-fold” truly works. In any situation in business, your focus should be the client. Show them you care and they’ll show you dollar signs.