In my experience both in Corporate America and as a Business Owner for almost 10 years, the #1 way to increase your profits isn’t to lower your expenses, although that helps of course.
The #1 way to increase your profits is to optimally monetize your client base. Consider that management gobbledygook for “Give your clients an amazing experience and offer them what they want/need and they’ll keep coming back. It’s less costly in time, energy and money, to keep current clients than to constantly chase after new ones.”
It’s all about Client Loyalty.
Easier said than done?
Not at all. In fact, I’m willing to bet that once you start, and see the results, this will become a fun part of managing your business. After all, you’re essentially getting rewarded to show your gratitude.
Here are just a few Extreme Client Care™ practices you can start right now:
- Send out a Thanks and Welcome Letter whenever possible. Both via email and hardcopy mail. Sell a book? Send a “thanks and welcome” email with the first few chapters so your customer can start reading while they wait for the hardcopy. We mail a hardcopy “Welcome Kit” to every new Get It Done Right Community Member (GIDR) within 24 hours of joining — we don’t talk about it on the info page, we just do it. Imagine the happy surprise when it arrives, complete with a resource CD of info.
- Offer specials, bonuses and surprises to existing customers. Our GIDR Members receive 15% off all products, group programs and private strategy sessions. What can you offer your existing clients that ties in with your branding? For example, TGIFriday’s Restaurant frequently sends me coupons for a free appetizer or dessert as a “thank you”. This ensures I’m more likely to go to them than another restaurant. Coldwater Creek sends me notices for private sales before the general public gets in.
- Ensure that your Team “gets it”. You don’t pay for your Team. Your clients do. In fact, your clients pay for everything. Everyone on your Team needs to understand this and treat every client as if she’s your only client. This doesn’t mean that clients are always right, it does mean that they all need to be treated with respect and care.
The above is in addition to:
- sending “thank you”, birthday, holiday, congratulations, condolences, get well, etc. cards as appropriate;
- remembering (a simple excel spreadsheet or customer relationship management system will do the trick) spouse and partner names, birthdays, pets names, children’s names, favorite hobbies, authors, etc.; and
- putting as many systems as possible in place to ensure that each and every client receives as ideal an experience as possible and, when it doesn’t happen, own up and apologize.
Regardless of industry or size of business, when it comes to increasing your profits, the biggest factor is client loyalty. What will you do, what other Client Care practices can you implement to ensure loyalty? Please share in the comments below.