Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Stop....and Appreciate Your Clients!

Yesterday I wrote about how a restaurant owner turned a Saturday lunch into a wonderful experience. He did not just do this by providing the service I went into purchase. I went to his restaurant to get lunch with my family. We could have eaten lunch at any of the hundreds of restaurants that litter the roadside, and received the nutrition to carry on through the day. What made this restaurant so special was that the owner and the staff went the extra mile to make us feel welcome.

Think about your business. The product or service that you offer is just part of the equation. If you think that you are such a great lawyer that your skills are all that matter, you are mistaken. If you think being an accountant with Sarbanes-Oxley knowledge is all the clients cares about, you are not seeing the whole picture. If you are a banker who thinks the lowest interest rate is all that counts, you will be left in your competitors dust.

Delivering a quality product at a good price is only the start. In today's business environment quality and value are just the start. Everyone claims quality. (Most actually have it!!). You need to do more to reach your customer at their heart and solidify their impression of you as more than just a commodity.

Too many professionals get confused on this issue. Their egos let them believe they are superior to their competiton, and thus they think they will automatically succeed. Many talented businessmen continue to leave money on the table because they do not take the time to amaze their customers. They just provide the product or service, and then bill the client. They add no personal touch, and thus they do not turn their clients into "fans".

Think about sports....anyone can go to a game....but fans go back time and time again.

As the first quarter of 2006 comes to an end the time has come for you to review your "Customer Touch Points". Since you mailed that Christmas Card in December....what else have you done to show them that you care about more than just their paid invoice?

A few things I have seen companies do this year:

*A client appreciation event (lunch, dinner, ballgame, etc...)

*A personal "Thank You" note letting each client know their business is appreciated

*Send along a free book that you know they will enjoy reading

*One company delivered warm cookies and milk to all their clients on St. Patrick's Day

You can do many things to tell people that they are an important part of your business. To do nothing leaves them vulnerable to your competition. Think about that for a few minutes. What if your client feels that the competition cares more about them than you do? What do you think will happen????

Stop sitting there. Appreciate your clients or prepare to say good-bye.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

1 comment:

Jonathan Hernandez said...

Great "customer appreciation" ideas... What did the restaurant owner do to go above and beyond? I like examples! :)