There are an amazing number of graphic designers, digital marketers, human resource consultants, accountants and other individual or freelance providers of some area of expertise that many small business owners need on a limited basis. There are so many that it can be difficult to cull through the options and choose a useful vendor correctly on the first try.
The Internet has certainly enhanced our knowledge of and connection to these resources. However, in the Internet’s expansion of our options, a true ranking and matching of needs to resources is still not very accurate. As a consumer, you can read reviews and look at online rankings, however, these methods do not match to your specific needs, timeline, and necessarily your strength in managing the resource.
On the service side, this will continue to make it more difficult to find customers who stick. Customers who stick are the one’s that find you, determine your service to be a strong match for their needs and continue doing business with you. This is really important for many reasons:
- the cost of acquiring new customers
- the opportunity of ongoing revenue streams
- the impact of a dissatisfied customer on your reputation
We aren’t in control of it all. Prospects will find you or not find you. However, when some do find you, it is your job and in your control, to fully meet the need.
I believe there’s more than one variable that must be mastered in fully meeting the need of the customer.
- Making sure you are a good match. We all want and need revenue. But if the work required and the service required is not a good match, you are starting out with a deficit in your project success account. You will have to work harder and make compromises in order to ensure customer satisfaction. If you can’t make these adjustments, adding this client could harm you and your reputation and may end in the client’s need not being suitably met.
- Providing unprecedented customer service through the process of working with your clients. Everyone tries to claim that they have the best customer service and that they treat clients like family. Stating it and doing it are very different. In order to really achieve this goal, we must be able to adjust our service to our client’s specific needs. Some require more hand-holding than others. Many want consistent communication, updates, and responsiveness. All want to be able to reach you or reach out for services on their timetable. And they expect the response from their vendor to be immediate and with a smile. And this must happen every time, not just occasionally.
- Doing impeccable work. It has to fully live up to its marketing and surpass that of the thousands of competitors now available to your client online. In our current business climate we focus on fast, or we take too long but procrastinate to the end, and still do the work at break-neck speed. This results in mediocrity. It doesn’t produce your best work, admit it. We have to manage our own time and work so that we can dive deeply into it and produce exceptional work for each client. Doing it occasionally doesn’t exceed expectations when there are such vast choices in the world. This must happen every time, not just occasionally.
- Follow-up and follow-through. Many times completion of client needs is dependent on the client. Whether that is information, time for review, or gaining final approval. This can become a skill in itself. Bringing a project to a successful conclusion for their benefit and yours. The best work in the world can be tainted by an inability to conclude and launch the project on the client’s behalf. We must follow-up and follow-through at every stage of the project or work. We are responsible for a healthy conclusion. And, this also must happen every time, not just occasionally.
In order to be successful all of these variables must be met consistently. When they are met, I believe our businesses will see unprecedented growth. This will be through both retention of your ideal clients and by word of mouth referrals from these satisfied clients.
To sustain it your business will need to grow in infrastructure and people, or you will have to limit your growth to maintain these variables consistently. When you add infrastructure and people they must also uphold each of these variables too. Consistently, not just occasionally!
For your continued success, you need to motivate, train, and require this dedication to depth of service and work from your entire team. For your business to grow beyond you, becoming a leader rather than just a personal producer, is paramount. Successfully transferring commitment to each of these pieces of the client work, must happen every time, not just occasionally.
This is how we break through the noise and get noticed.