We work hard to get new clients to do business with us. We prospect and invest valuable time for a chance to work with them. This process could take weeks, months, or years.
Conversely, We can lose that key client instantly; in most cases, it has nothing to do with price.
I want to share a story where this happened to me as a consumer.
I am sharing this story to remind us not to take our current clients for granted. We need to take all the necessary steps to retain our existing clients. The opportunity on the flip side is that we could be one call away from converting a new client from a competitor based on the treatment and service they are receiving.
Here is my story.
I was looking for a new dentist near my house. I saw a new dental practice was opening, and they were offering an incentive that with every teeth cleaning, you would receive teeth whitening with your service. So I thought I would give them a try. I go every six months and have been a customer for eight years. That changed after my most recent cleaning.
I was pushed back to eight months vs. six due to their scheduling. I thought, no problem. My Hygienist is excellent, and I complimented her on the extra work she had to do because it was eight vs. six months. She smiled and said that is my job. She did notice that one of my back teeth needed a crown. I thought to myself guess I was lucky these past eight years.
So in walks the Main Dentist to check out her work. I shared how pleased I was with her work, just sorry it took a few extra months to get in to get them cleaned. The Dentist replied that you could have gotten in sooner if you had called. How would I know that as I took the earliest appointment? I have to say I was bothered by her response. She told me the front desk would have the cost of the crown and schedule my next visit. I was a bit taken aback by her comments.
I shifted to the front desk, and a young lady handed me a piece of paper with the numbers tooth 20 and 31. I asked what the numbers meant, and she seemed put off that I asked. I reiterated that these numbers might have significance to you, but most customers may not know what they mean. She went on to say those teeth that need crowns with a bit of frustration in her tone.
I asked a follow-up question on the price she shared, including my dental insurance. The form was not very clear to understand. She seemed to get more impatient with me. At the moment, I felt like I was keeping her from something. So I took the paperwork and said thanks as I walked to the door. Something said to turn around, and as I did, I could see her rolling her eyes and darting back to the others. I am sure to say, thank god she is gone.
As I walked to my car, I thought, Wow, I have been a customer for eight years. The dental practice can make some money from me by replacing a few crowns vs. just cleaning my teeth. By the way, I told myself there was no way I would have my crown done at that practice. So the next day, I called and canceled my crown appointment and future cleanings on their books.
I was looking for a new dental practice that may appreciate me and my business.
The following day I called Advance Dentistry. They advertise on our radio stations, and a co-worker raved about them. I called, and a friendly voice answered and said thank you for calling and how she could help. I scheduled my consultation.
A few days later, I got my temporary crown. The business manager walked me through what it would cost to get a crown, what my insurance covered, and what I would be responsible for paying. Heather and Bridget, who assisted Dr. White, explained every step, and their energy was highly positive.
I left thinking to myself, what a great experience! This an experience I plan to share with others as I am doing today with you.
So what can we learn from my experience?
First, never take your current clients for granted. We have to understand that they do have options.
Here are the top three reasons why customers leave a company.
68% leave because of the treatment they received
14% are dissatisfied with products or service
9% Begin doing business with the competition
What do you do to ensure your client keeps working with you?
Create a strong foundation
When your start working with a new client, you have the opportunity to leave a memorable first impression — so make sure your onboarding process is seamless. Details do matter.
Provide a personalized customer experience.
No two customers have the exact needs and may be looking for tailored solutions. We must listen and understand what is most important to our clients and provide solutions.
Ask for Feedback
Improving your service is hard if you don’t know how your customers feel about it. Ask your client if you are happy with the partnership and service they are receiving. Ask for recommendations on how you could better serve their business needs.
Create a communication calendar
You want to stay connected with your client. Depending on your sales cycle, you may want to check in weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Provide something of value each time you connect with them.
Relationships do Matter.
Make them very important. Celebrate your client’s birthdays and the company’s anniversary.
And more importantly, do it with a Smile on your face. Grin and Win!
Learn more about Simplifying Your sales meetings using 3-word topics at http://www.threewordmeetings.com.