This is really a dangerous principle for marketers. Over the course of my career I have seen instances where executives have made it known that much more time should be given to:
Company “X” over Company “Y” or
Customer “A” over Customer “B”
There can be some obvious differences between companies and customers with respect to revenues, but the danger comes in when executives take the following actions:
- Refuse to service a customer’s demand because they simply do not provide enough revenue to your business even if they have been a loyal customer for more than 5+ years.
- Refuse to only perform work and listen to customers over a certain revenue level.
- Refuse to business with a client because you deem this client to not be up to your own standards.
- Refuse to do business with a client because your boss doesn’t like one of the executives because of personal differences.
Once you start turning potential work away for one reason or another, it can ultimately create a downward spiral. Word quickly spreads these days through word of mouth and social media. Soon, loyal clients become concerned that they could be the next victim and begin rethinking their partnership with your company
Watch for signs inside your company too.
Be careful and watch for signs at your own company with respect to protected classes. Typically, this is the time when executives start taking this thought process inside their own companies and decide certain departments are better than others, because they are only focused on their own bias and they are not looking at it from a customer point of view. Before you know it, certain departments are being cut and closed down.
This is really a dangerous situation and typically the protected people are protected for a reason that is not often communicated.
Listen more, Generate more ideas, Stay engaged
We often hear the phrase know where your clients are. I would also say make sure you also seek out your clients and look to join their circles and keep your name fresh with your clients. You can do this in person or online.
Make sure you are capturing client complaints and suggestions. Recording client feedback is the key and letting people know that you appreciate their ideas. Some of the best ideas I have received have come from clients who are very small in comparison to large clients because they are closer to all of the processes at their own companies. Check your ego at the door if you want to really listen to your clients and you want them to share their suggestions with you.
Finally, stay engaged. Any client can feel that their business is not valued. It is important to make sure all clients receive proper treatment when it comes to services. Also, consider making decisions based on real hard facts and not someone’s perception of a situation. Be a leader and do your homework. Make sure you know what is happening in your own company and in the market and make sure the issue of protected classes does not become a factor in your decision-making.
I leave you with one more example to think about. I think about this example a lot and it helps me keep things in perspective.
Which scenario would you rather have?
50 companies producing $1,000.00 of revenue each month
2 companies producing $25,000.00 of revenue each month
Obviously, you need a mix of both groups to be successful long-term and the key is to create loyalty so “all” clients keep coming back.
Client Service is the Key!
Break down walls and let client service be your driver and you will find ways to tear down walls and gain the loyalty of your clients and your employees.
Picture Source: Flickr