The Challenge Defined:
It’s easy to become complacent about customers. As your company grows, you may find yourself shifting from the desperate search for customers to the desperate search for ways to operate better, faster, and cheaper. At that point, it’s quite possible to lose sight of why your customers are or were loyal.
That’s not to say you won’t or shouldn’t ever lose a client. In your early growth stages, you’re more likely to accept and put up with a problematic client – you know, the ones always wanting more for less or the ones buying extremely low volumes so that it costs more to service them than you make on the deal. As you grow, you can help yourself and your company by gracefully leaving these customers behind.
And for your valued customers, your customer focus should extend beyond service and attentiveness. Maintaining customers also means providing them new types of and twists on your products and services. Know what your competitors are offering so you understand the options your clients have.
If retaining the right customers is important to you, focus on these issues and data points with your leadership team:
- Who are our top customers and how long have they been with us?
- Who were our first ten customers – how many are still with us, and if they aren’t, should we be concerned?
- Is our ideal customer different today than five years ago?
- How are the needs of our best customers’ changing? Are we evolving to meet them?
In many ways, keeping customers front and center doesn’t have anything to do with your personal interaction with them – it’s about the products and services you provide that meet their evolving needs and that make them leaders in their industries.
- How well do you understand the challenges your customers face in their industries?
- Do you periodically review and update your definition of an ideal client?
- Outside of sales-based interactions, what processes do you have in place to communicate with your customers?
Why this Challenge Must be Resolved:
If you don’t take a proactive approach to understanding and meeting the evolving needs of your customers, your competitors surely will.
Need help with this topic or leadership coaching? Contact Mission Critical Teams.