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December 15, 2010 / jasonpinto

Understanding and Delivering

Last week, I stumbled upon this eBook. It’s from Ernan Roman, and it’s titled “Don’t You Want to Do Real Marketing?”. It’s a quick read, and it’s absolutely made me want to buy his latest book on the “voice of the customer”.

Here was one of my favorite tips from the eBook: “Generate an in-depth understanding of the value customers expect from your company, throughout the major points in their life cycle of experience with you.

Customer Relationships: The Balance

We all know that it costs more to find a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. However, for a business to grow, it needs to create bandwidth for itself to work on”what’s next”. It needs to find ways to streamline how it operates, and to automate certain activities. Thus, there must be a balance between how much time you spend on existing customers versus finding new ones.

One way to find that balance is to truly put in practice Ernan’s point from above. As a business, we should be able to identify what a customer will expect from us over the length of their relationship with us. Then, when we bring on a new customer, we should be able to implement a plan to deliver what they will expect going forward.

We should not wait for each and every customer to call us with the same questions, the same problems, or the same [fill-in-the-blank] that every other customer that preceded them called with. If we do that, we may be friends with insanity.

Instead of the Same Ol’ Song

By committing to understanding what customers may want from us throughout their relationship, we may be able to provide better service to them, and create bandwidth for our own company to move forward successfully.

For example, depending on what we offer, a customer may expect something like this from our company:

  • Thank you notes/gifts
  • Offers to help make them a star (Press Release, Case Studies)
  • “Insider” news (what’s coming next)
  • Webinars to help them get the most out of your product/service
  • Newsletters with information related to their industry, your company, and items to help them grow
  • Actions that show a personal interest in them
  • A drink at the next trade show/conference that you see them at
  • Tools to help their sales reps
  • Shout-outs on social media sites
  • Proactive customer service (how-to guides, screencasts, etc)
  • Friendly Reminders
  • And more…

Depending on what your business offers, this list may change greatly. But if we take the time to truly understand what a customer expects, we will be able to better achieve success throughout our relationship when it’s time to deliver what they need.

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