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Archive for the month “March, 2013”

An Old School Approach to a Modern Day Business Quest

It is hard to believe that it has been twenty-eight years ago this month that I began my working career. Fortunately for me I was introduced to a set of guiding principles that I have committed to practice every day since. As I have traveled around, and witnessed the modernization of how products and services are delivered, it compelled me to go back to my old school days and remind me that if I want to succeed long term I must consistently prove great customer worth.

 In finance we measure net worth by taking assets and subtracting liabilities to determine net worth, pretty simple. However when it comes to customer worth it may not be so easy.

 First let’s define customer worth. It is the perceived value a customer feels their business is worth to their product or service provider. While the formula here is not as simple as assets minus liabilities there are some clearly defined principles that can tell you how well you are doing regarding customer worth; but in order to evaluate them properly, you have to go back to school…old school.

 I have said time and time again how thankful I am for technology and the added value it affords me every day. However I still believe that there are some things that can only be accomplished one on one, one customer experience at a time. One of these” things” is validating and increasing customer worth.   The simple fact of the matter is this, if your organization has high customer worth you will have high productivity and high retention. If you are taking great care of customers, why would they ever leave?  To determine how well you are doing, take a hard look at how well you and your organization adhere to these principles.

 1.  Place the highest value on peopleIf your long term success has anything to do with the human element, then you must make it worthwhile for them to encounter you. We must value people and what they mean to us above all, individually and collectively. They are not robots seeking a cookie cutter approach, they are unique with specific needs and wants and we must value them as such. Simply put, value people and they will value you.

 2. Help customers find solutions and solve problems. Find ways to proactively help people.  Does engaging you and what you do and more importantly how you do it, make a positive impact on your customer? Does the experience of choosing you and how you deliver what you do make my life better because I picked you? Finding ways to help people in extraordinary ways pays extraordinary dividends.

 3. Give them a reason to keep coming back, and stay. Do your customers know everything you offer? It is a proven fact that the more products and services I have with you, the greater my retention with you. The greatest measure of any business success is the ability to take care of every customer need so they have a reason to think of anyone else and more importantly, never leave you. So my question for you is how serious do you take the task of informing your customers about all the services you offer and how do you validate the reason a customer should never leave you?

 4. Ask customers to help you by telling others about you. Do you have customers telling others about their experience with you? Do you experience people contacting you because one of your high worth customers said you were the provider of choice?  If not, why not?  I believe referrals are the lifeblood to any business entity that depends on how well it sustains long term success based on satisfied high worth customers.  You earn the right to ask if you are effective at mastering this checklist.

 So there you have it, four critical, highly effective principles to great customer worth. Value people above all, help them find solutions and solve problems, give them a reason to keep coming back and then never leave and finally have high worth customers tell others about you. These four principles will not only provide high customer worth, they will catapult and sustain your business worth to new heights too!

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