Be careful about comparing yourself only to your competition. Should this be your only gauge regarding success.
The real success comes in working with your clients and helping them succeed. Because it is here, where companies not only stay ahead of their competitors but they also grow with their clients.
I’ve heard the over-worn phrases like “ you need to stay close to your customers” This little phrase is over-used and frankly, too many people think they are doing this by providing a quality product or service each day. Quality products and service should be a requirement of every business. What else are you doing to service your clients.
Clients, today do not want to be like everyone else, they are also working on their own goals and objectives. If you can help your clients stand out, then you are not only close to your clients, you have a bit of investment in them and you want them to continue to excel too.
I really believe client loyalty needs to start by asking hard questions. Too many times we avoid asking hard questions, because we are afraid our weaknesses may be exposed as a company. This type of thinking needs to stop. If clients are not sharing their observations regarding our company, you can bet that at some point this list of items will be large enough to get upper management to start thinking about using one of your competitors. Ask your clients what they like, what they feel needs improvement. Clients, believe it or not want to know that their issues are being addressed and your reaction to their feedback speaks volumes. Best advice, shut up and let the client talk and talk some more. Continue to listen and list their concerns. Find out which items are the most pressing and look for ways that could ultimately be a win-win for your clients and your company.
Having a dialogue like this will be extremely valuable for you and your clients. You know which clients, you need to have this dialogue with. I am not suggesting that you can do this with every client, but you should be paying closer attention to all of your clients and keep your antennas up for ways to improve. Look for win-win scenarios and start contacting more and more of your clients to have this type of dialogue.
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