Customers are an asset. Yet how many managers have the insights to make much more of these people that simply completing today’s transaction.
They are much more valuable than that.
It’s easy to appreciate the challenges that providing great customer service can pose. You see it’s not simply a case of giving them what they want, when they want it, at a price that they are happy to pay.
No, there’s a lot more value that we can squeeze from them in the customer relationships we build.
And the good thing is that they will be the beneficiaries as well. Because the way we generate ‘Raving Fans’ is purely by being great with the customers we already have and being clear about what we want from them too. It’s as simple as that.
You see, what we want from our customers, are people who like us so much they want to:-
• Support us as a gesture
• Help us along the way
• Become a resource to their family, friends and acquaintances too
• Come along and trade with us more often
We want to create people who love us so much that they will tell our story for free to anyone who will listen.
For many small businesses, this is all they do.
They are great to their customers; they go an extra mile even/especially when things go wrong and they are loved for it.
So much so that their customers become their marketing tool.
When you have complaints, you have the opportunity to interact fully with your customers – which, ironically, you miss when things actually go right!
A complaint is a little door to create a relationship that is open, honest and mutual. Over a little time, you will be able to move that relationship into a partnership too.
These people are a vast asset whether you are in a small local business or a huge mega-corporation, by creating one-to-one relationships like they’ve never had before with a service or goods providers.
And they tell others about how great you are.
If you are smart, you even start to ask them to collaborate in the development of your business or service, by asking them for their input beforehand.
Whether you are a store; a call-center or an online business you can move into the sport of open-sourcing.
And that will enable you to draw on the insights of your most important asset (along with your people, of course) – your customers and clients!
The ‘Raving Fan’ is the most cost-effective customer or client you can create. They are worth more than their weight in gold and are out there, right now, waiting for you.
(c) 2010 Martin Haworth. This is a short excerpt from one of 52 lessons in management development at Super Successful Manager!, an easy to use, step-by-step weekly development program for managers of EVERY skill level. Find out more at http://www.SuperSuccessfulManager.com.