Have you ever been wooed, wowed… and then wounded?


Ever been in a relationship? Are you married? Remember the courtship and romance? How he pursued you? How he wanted to learn about everything that makes you happy? And oh, remember the honeymoon stage? How lovely! He brings home flowers for no reason, he makes breakfast in bed, he takes you out on dates and listens when you talk. You couldn’t ask for more! You tell everyone you know how perfect and wonderful he is. But then something happens. It all dwindles away and somehow you get ignored, forgotten and neglected. What could it be? Is he just bored with you? Did the thrill wear off? Or did he find someone or something else that stole his affections?

Ever had this scenario happen to you in business?

We recently hired a company to provide a service for us. When we spoke to them about the problems we had with a previous service provider, they immediately assured us why we should switch to them, why they were better, how they would deliver faster, etc. We paid for the entire project up front, in advance. They focused all their energies on wooing and wowing us. In the beginning of the project they were on top of things, finding out how to make us happy, doing spectacular work, impressing us every step of the way. We sent them emails, they answered quickly. We asked for something, they delivered quickly. We started telling everyone about them and recommended them to everyone we knew who needed or might need that type of service. But then something happened. Our project gets put on the back burner, weeks have gone by with NO progress, we send emails with no response, not even acknowledgement that they received them. We have been forgotten, neglected and ignored. So what could it be? Did the thrill of new business wear off for them? Well, they got another new client in the middle of working on our project and then focused all their energies on this newest client and left us out to dry. You can bet darn well that we surely have stopped bragging about them and recommending them to anyone, and even retracting our previous referrals (because referrals give an impression of US, we surely don’t want to recommend bad businesses).

It reminds me of my brother’s favorite quote – “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

So we wanted to write this blog to encourage you and give you a few tips on making sure that you never make your customers feel like singing “The Thrill is Gone”.

Retention is the new acquisition.
Putting emphasis on acquisition at the expense of retention is never a good idea. Also, businesses can no longer depend on (or afford to market toward) constantly gaining more and more clients, so it becomes even more important to cater to your existing clients. Companies that spend too much time and too many resources on gaining new clients and ignore current clients commit a major marketing offense! I know that hunting new business is more of an adrenaline rush than working the business you already have, but it is not as crucial to your long-term success.

5 Tips to Avoid Neglecting Your Customers:

1. Quality, Never Quantity
Do not value quantity of clients over quality of customer service. Always focus on your existing clients’ quality of service before worrying about potential new clients. Good customer service is vital to retaining existing clients. If your client experience is lacking, you have what I affectionately call “Cracked Bucket Syndrome”. It doesn’t do any good to run water into a cracked bucket, and bringing new clients into a system that makes them feel neglected or un-appreciated doesn’t help your business one bit either! Fix those cracks in your customer service bucket before you spend money trying to fill it with new clients!

2. Manage Your Processes Better
If you don’t have proper processes in place, or enough manpower or resources to take on new clients without sacrificing quality towards existing clients… fix something! Hire more help, leverage other people’s resources, formulate processes to which you can work on several projects simultaneously so that the one who came in first doesn’t get neglected for the sake of the next one.

3. Constant Communication
Make sure you commit yourself to keeping the same level of communication with clients from the point you meet them to the end of time. If you answer their emails quickly in the beginning, be sure to answer their emails quickly all the time, even when they aren’t buying from you at the moment. Think about this – I would rather have bad communication in the beginning and know what I am getting into rather than being deceived into thinking the company is so wonderful and finding out otherwise down the road. There’s something about that surprise and deception that stays with you forever.

4. Create VIP Status
Don’t give new clients the same or better offers before offering them to existing clients. Instead give existing clients a VIP status, which allows them to know about new offers before new clients. This shows existing clients that you appreciate their business. Offering the best promotions only to new clients makes your existing clients feel compelled to leave you for a competitor’s “new client offer”. You should treat your clients so well that they’d turn down any “new client offer” because they’re so happy with you they feel they’d be missing out on something by leaving you.

5. Show Client Appreciation
Never devote all of your money to trying to gain new clients. Instead of investing money in a new client promotion, try hosting a client appreciation event. If your existing clients feel valued and appreciated, they will give you the most coveted method of advertising out there – word of mouth!

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Has a similar thing ever happened to you? Or did you maybe feel a little convicted that you have done this to others? Did this blog make you think about your current client retention practices? We want to hear your stories!

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One Response to Have you ever been wooed, wowed… and then wounded?

  1. Chris says:

    So true… I felt like I was reading Seth Godin’s wisdom… you guys are so right on. It takes INTEGRITY to show the same effort in the long run, and that is where many attempts fail. As the Bible says, “wealth gained hastily is not blessed in the end”(Proverbs 20:21). It’s all about staying the course and continuing to take care of those who’ve cared to endorse you or your service/product. Keep these blogs coming… great stuff!

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