Did you realize that maintaining a happy customer is less expensive and more profitable than constantly prospecting, trying to attract new business and developing accounts? Are you operating your business in this way?
Stop and think about that last question before you so quickly answer! I personally have observed many businesses -- retail and professional services not operating in this zone, and they are losing sales they could have easily had, if only they realized!
If you have built a following of customers or clients, you already won their trust and business. Congratulations! What are you doing to maintain and build on that established relationship? I see many businesses and practices actually ignoring 'the next step,' taking the customer to the next level, by offering additional services or simply addressing a new need.
Instead, they fill their daily schedules with welcoming in new clients to the fold, assessing and serving, while keeping the established accounts on their "list," practically ignoring them. Have you experienced this?
"New business" might be walking in the door, likely because you've hit critical mass, but also resulting from marketing efforts you invested dollars into. Recognize there is an inherent double-expensing in this: from the investment standpoint (A&P), as well as the cost of lost revenue (not realized) from existing customers.
This is what I call "Conveyor-belt Client Care." It may start out with a personal approach, addressing needs and a lot of one-on-one. It's a beautiful thing! When the goal is reached, it seems some of the clients take a background position to all the new business flowing in, to be served. Needs are being addressed, but are you actually offering limited services, or are there other things you could do to further serve your client base, building on the relationship?
Sometimes, the client will come back to you with a new or related concern. How do you help them? Are you too busy with the inflow of new business and accounts?
Ignoring their requests, or not providing a means to address their stated needs is exasperating to them, as well as detrimental to your relationship! Nothing is more maddening to a client than a business that has and could help them not taking their concerns seriously by dismissing them, possibly ignoring them, while the client stands waiting for attention, with dollars in hand to pay them -- right now!
Of course, not all client requests can be met. Assist where you can, without rewriting your business model; refer business to others who can help when you cannot.
Biz Tip: Establish a follow-up procedure to touch base with your clients before they come back to you. This is a much more service-oriented approach, shows a true heart to serve their needs, and may provide you not only with existing business, but also point out some areas you might want to expand services on a regular basis, taking things up a notch for everyone, by better serving your clients.
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