The first rule of any business is that you must produce and create customers, that’s it.
But as the market for businesses and our business climate has changed, this rule has shifted, if only slightly, to the need for businesses to create raving fans.
This is a pretty big shift because it means that transactional relationships are in many cases more expensive for your business.
Which means that the shift to creating fans is a necessity.
But the key point is how do you do that?
Here are a few ideas:
- Begin by thinking about the long term first: For many businesses it is just enough to get a customer, but customer acquisition is extremely time consuming and expensive. So it makes sense that you begin your customer relationship by thinking about the customer journey at the outset. Alan Weiss, author of Million Dollar Consulting and other books, calls this idea “thinking of the 4th sale first.” For all of us, it is important to think of the journey we want our customers to take and how we can increase our value to them in a consistent manner.
- Give your customers something to rave about: My friend, Peter Shankman, wrote a book called Nice Companies Finish First about customer service and the need for companies to do just a little bit more than the minimum to be successful. So imagine if you did things for your clients that made them truly want to rave about you? What would that look like? Can you create more value than just the minimum? Can you be faster? Better? Smarter?
- Make your relationship a two way conversation: Too much of our conversation feels like it happens in a one-way direction. But to create raving fans and people that will go crazy sharing your story and telling people about you, you need to create an environment where your customers and fans know that you care. Do you call up your customers and find out what is going on? Do you open yourself up to emails? Social media? How do you have a conversation with your people?
If you can put these 3 ideas into practice, your ability to solidify your relationship with your customers will change and improve. If you are fortunate and focused, you might even create raving fans.