Something I have always preached to clients and throughout my professional career is really simple: Don’t Screw Your Customers.
Easy to say from 50,000ft up but how you handle it on a personal level is what will define your company. I’m not talking about calling back in under 10 minutes or replying to a support ticket within 60 seconds. That’s more of an operations issue, anyone can fix that.
The Problem? Building Brand Loyalty
What am I talking about? Building real brand loyalty with your customers so they come back for more, and recommend their friends and business colleagues.
Everyone is in business for one reason or another. We are all selling our products and services to the markets we have chosen to be in.
The problem I find often from a marketing perspective is that so many companies are just itching so bad for that quick sale, they are missing out on the long term opportunities. You may earn a couple extra bucks today, but you are losing out exponentially in the future.
There is a big difference here. Everyone is going to say, “Well Steve they hired our company so don’t they already trust us?”
No. They don’t. They are still taking a chance.
All the references and past projects in the world won’t matter at all if THEIR project implodes, for whatever the reason may be. That generally happens from a lack of communication, goal setting, and timeline management. If your customer has to ask you over and over when something will be done, ready, or changed; you are failing big time.
The Solution? Become a Customers Trusted Partner
When new clients come to KJN Arts the first thing we do is a consultation. I don’t care if it’s a $500 brochure or a $50,000 website, rebranding, and marketing package.
We do a full consultation first. Why? We want to understand more than just the project in front of us. Corporate culture, potential approval issues, existing preferences, brand standards if they have them already, and a host of other questions come into play here.
How do I solve the 101 questions during that first date stage with a new client? It’s really simple. A detailed questionnaire outlining the project scope, options, questions, background, and any other details that pertain to what we are working on. Typically it takes a client 30 minutes to an hour to fill out but it saves everyone a big chunk of time.
Now when we have our consultation session we have not only been trained by our client before the call, we can now ask more detailed and thought provoking questions to give the project the Visual Marketing edge that we pride ourselves on.
For your brand of business, what you ask and need to know will change. For most consultative business models this approach will vastly improve your results in client retention and their overall positive experience when working with you.