Open Doors by Catering to Your Clients

By: Janice D. Byer, MVA

Clients… they are the most important influence in the success of any business. It is vital to keep them satisfied and happy.

Clients should be catered to. Their every need should be met and more. We need to make them feel like they are our number one client, as they all are.

Catering to our clients should not be anything new to a professional business person. After all, we all know that exceptional customer service is the key to keeping clients happy which, in turn, keeps them coming back for more and influences them to refer you and your business to others.

Then, why is it that there are so many times that we have to deal with businesses who don’t put their clients first? We have all had one (or more) of those experiences, haven’t we? And each time I have ever had to deal with someone who doesn’t provide exceptional customer service, I am just mystified as to how they possibly manage to stay in business.

Now, catering to your customers does not mean that you should have to sacrifice your integrity or your reputation but it does mean that you have to make them feel like they are the most important customer you have. Whether they spend thousands of dollars on your product or service or they only buy in small amounts at irregular times, they are all important to your success. Every client is a door waiting to be opened and for more business to come walking through.

Catering should result in your clients always being happy and thinking positively about you.

There are some obvious, yet often forgotten, simple tasks that you can do that shows your clients that you care about them and want them to feel your are there for them when they really need you. So, let’s revisit some of them now.

First, make sure you always give your very best AND that you provide it to your client when they need it. These two go hand in hand. If you have a great product or service but you can’t deliver on time, then you are going to lose clients. The same holds true that if you can always deliver on time but it isn’t the best that you have to offer, you are bound to be fielding unhappy comments and questions from those who matter the most.

Next, be sure that you have your client’s needs and wants in mind when you are supplying to them. Listen to them when you are discussing the aspects of what they need and be sure to match that and even throw in something a little extra to show you were listening.

When listening to your clients, take note of how you can improve your product or service. After all, they are telling you what they need and it is probably what others need as well. By improving your product or service you are not only catering to your clients, you are also opening up new doors for others who may need what you have to offer but are unsure if you can customize to suit their requirements.

Always provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Everyone wants to be completely satisfied with everything they obtain or purchase. By guaranteeing your product or service, your customer will be more reassured that they will receive exactly what they ordered. And, if you publicly offer a guarantee, more people will feel at ease dealing with you.

Remember to never keep a client or potential client waiting. When you receive an inquiry from an individual, whether it is a phone message, email, or a letter, be sure to respond to it right away. By not providing a prompt response, you are taking a chance that the client will grow impatient and move onto another business to supply what they are requiring.

And finally, be sure to always say thank you to your clients. Send a thank you note to everyone who requests a quotation, signs up as a new client, or an existing client that has a habit of ordering quite a bit from you. This will not only show that you care about them but it will also keep your company fresh in their minds. If you find that your budget is limited, sending an online e-card will project your appreciation just as well.

Catering to your clients should not be a chore, it should be a gesture of appreciation. Most clients will respond to your exceptional customer service by providing you with more business or by referring you to others. It’s a win – win situation!

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