One thing I have noticed over the years is how important something can be to someone and yet how little attention they give it. Take for example a relationship with someone. How many times do you see the relationship being neglected and taken for granted by the other person – only to wake up one day with divorce papers staring you in the face or a letter telling you the relationship is over. Most people have been through this to some degree or another.
Customers are EXACTLY THE SAME! How many times have you woken up and found out a customer has “defected” and left for the competition. You rally the troops, do an analysis of what happened and why and then go back to the way you were doing business with the rest of the customers until it happens again, and again, and again. Why not stop this in its tracks.
I was talking to a prospective client the other day after he was lamenting about how hard it was in these difficult times to keep a customer. My question to him was, “what are you doing today that was any different from a year ago?” His answer, we do the same things today we did then and now they are leaving because of price and other issues (so they say). I said, EXACTLY. Changing the game, getting closer to your customer, understanding their needs on a “real-time basis” is critical to staying in front of the competition.
I encouraged him to have us do some interviews of his customers and let their “voice” be heard. Half the battle is won when you reach out and just tell your customer you are interested in their opinions as you make changes or modifications or enhancements. Who out there doesn’t want to be part of something new and exciting and improved – no one! So don’t just assume that your customers are happy, put together some great questions, go ask and then report back what you learned. You will be amazed what you will learn and your customers will start to understand that you really do care about them in ways other then them spending more money with you. GIve it a shot – what do you have to lose – another customer???