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Where is our customer? This is a question that hopefully we never have to ask or in some cases we should always ask. When a customer comes to you for the first time do you find out why they chose your company over others? Do you know why previous customers did not come back? Do you know why your competitors are doing better or worse than you?
Once you have a customer doing business with your company they are usually the easiest to maintain and require the least advertising and coercing to make them repeatedly use the services that you provide. They are also the best source of proving leads through hopefully their voluntary statements about experiencing total satisfaction with your company. Do we track these folks to make sure they come back in the future? Do you reward them for providing leads? Do we give them incentives to help your company secure their service work in the future? Do you try to get them to sign up for a preventative maintenance schedule? Do we send them service reminders? These are important services that most customers do appreciate. Don’t be a pest. Be a company that wants their customers to enjoy dependable service and long product life from the products that they own. As their servicer you can also be a valuable consultant on what it takes to achieve long life and dependable operation for the products that you service.
Also your existing customers are the ones that you should try to fully understand. All people are different and so are most customers. Some are very demanding. Others just kind of go with the flow. Most customers appreciate follow up calls and also questions about other products that you may have serviced when they give you a call about a new repair. They like to be recognized when they call. Some customers don't want to be bothered by a stranger. A real benefit today for the small locally owned and operated companies is that you can strive to recognize your customers and treat them like neighbors rather than a line item on a spreadsheet or a call out queue. Something as simple as recognizing a name or asking a question about a recent purchase can be very important to a customer. Since we all live in the day of computers we can still try to treat everyone like they are your only customer and work very hard to never lose a customer unless it is by your choice.
Treating customers with respect and placing a total emphasis on keeping them a satisfied customer is the daily goal for everyone in the company. Thank them for their business, their continued loyalty, and their ongoing decision to use your products and services over a long period of time. Make them the benchmark for the service you provide and guard them closely.
Author: Don Pierson, President