by Shawn Rhodes

Think about that company or brand you love recommending. They might cost more, they may be farther out of your way, there may even be newer versions of what they sell , but you love doing business with them.

If it’s not cost, convenience or having the most advanced product, why do each of us have businesses we’re in love with?

When we’re doing business with them, they make us feel like we’re their only customer.

Of course, we know it’s not true. They may have millions of customers all over the world, but when we’re on the phone or face-to-face with one of their employees, we feel like they’re really listening to our needs and giving us their full attention.

We’ve each experienced the opposite at some point too: When they lost the order, seemed scattered at the meeting, or shipped the wrong product. If it happens enough, we take our business to those companies that make us feel like we matter — and we’re willing to pay for the privilege.

If we want to convert and keep customers, how do we impress them from their first contact with us to long after the sale?

Interestingly, it starts with our processes. Let’s take a look at how we can make every client feel like they’re the only one.

1. Identify the ideal client experience

Whether we sell products, services or both, we need to know what a great experience looks like in the eyes of our clients. Do they want us to show up to the jobsite having reviewed the notes from our previous conversations? Do they want us to follow up with them within 24 hours to answer their questions?

Make a list of all the touchpoints you have with your clients from their first contact with your brand to after the sale, when they refer their friends. What are the client’s expectations of those interactions, and what would exceeding those expectations look like?

2. Make concrete objectives

Once you know what success looks like in the eyes of your customers, you need to turn those ideas into action. Group them according to the functions they belong to — call center, technicians, salespeople, installation crew, etc.

Instead of turning them over to your departments as action items, you’ll first want to make them precise and profitable; give them due dates and clear outcomes. For instance: By August 15, software will be updated to track technician notes from client interactions and be available on technicians’ tablets.

3. Make them a reality

Once you have precise and profitable objectives for creating the ideal client experience across a wide variety of functions, look at each objective and ask: “Who needs to give input into this objective or will be involved in using it?” Gather a sample of those people into a room or on a call and have them build out the action plan for making it a reality.

When customers feel like they’re your priority, they’ll make doing business with you a priority too.

 

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