The term customer implies somebody who buys a part or service from you, where as the term client implies somebody with whom you have a relationship. There are two types of ways that you can run a business. You can either be in the transaction business where you just sell things to people, or you can be in the relationship business where you actually develop an ongoing, nurtured relationship that leads to additional sales and referrals.
In a general review of consumer reaction to business, 15% of them got less than they expected from their experience; 80% got exactly what they expected; and only 5% got more than they expected. The key to success in any business is to deliver more than your clients expect from your company – to set yourself completely apart from all your competition.
When it comes to repairing an appliance, what you’re really doing is you’re managing expectations of your particular clients. There are three types of experiences they can have with you. They can either be unhappy, they can be satisfied, or they can be wowed. You’re never going to get any additional sales from someone (nor any referrals) if what you delivered to the client was either exactly what they expected or less than what they expected. If you want to get additional business and referrals, then you need to make sure that when you’re done fixing their appliance they have a smile on their face. They actually believe and feel that they got more than they expected to get.
So how can we “wow” our clients? How can we exceed their expectations? You can’t control a customer’s loyalty. What you can control is your frequency of contact and communication with your client. It’s amazing how a little contact, a little email, a little telephone call, a little letter will make a world of difference in terms of turning a client into a raving fan. In my company my CSR’s have been empowered to send flowers to any customer that they believe we have let down and not at least met their expectations. Whenever you can create that type of experience you can guarantee that they’ll probably do business with you again and that they will tell other people about you. If you’re not getting referrals, if you’re not having a lot of repeat business, then sometimes it’s not the marketing, sometimes it’s the delivery of service. Maybe it’s time you looked at your service delivery through your clients eyes. When you combine marketing along with the delivery of service and “wow” you client, you have a winning formula for success.