We all want customers, but what we really want are BETTER customers. In addition to having better customers we want customers that value us for our products or services and want them at a fair but not necessarily cheap price.
There are a few things you can do to ensure that your customers are GREAT (not just good) customers.
- Always advise what is in the best interest of your customer. Sometimes it might be tempting to suggest a solution or product that will increase your profit or revenue. But over time your clients will appreciate your saving them money when all possible OR suggesting they invest in a more expensive solution, as the need dictates.
- Refer business to your customers. YOU want your customers to refer new clients to you, right? Well do you also ensure that you are referring new business to your customers? Even if your customers never SAY it, they know which of their vendors want a two-way relationship and which ones don’t.
- Be active in your community. The more your clients see you active in your local community the more they are going to want to work with you (and not the other guy or gal – your competitor)
- Convey your philosophies to all staff. It’s not enough that YOU know how to treat customers. It’s equally important that all of your staff are well trained and advised on your methods, philosophies and customer expectations.
- Take responsibility for mistakes or problems. Your customers HATE when blame gets passed around. They just want solutions (or products delivered) and of course to ensure that problems don’t happen again. So it’s important to know why a problem did occur, solve it and then move on.
If you want better customers, you might have to let go (or fire) customers who are not in line with your business. Maybe you have 10% of customers who only want the cheapest product. If you are not selling a product that is the “cheapest” feel free to gently migrate them to another business (maybe even your competitor) who can sell a product based on price alone.
By offering more value and customer service, you’ll find that over time the right customers will percolate up to the “top” and they will want to work with you more. While the “wrong customers” or customers who are not a fit for you will leave you and look for other solutions. It never feels good to lose a customer, but in the end it’s best for your business.