I wanted to add the word ‘Recognise’ as well as ‘Know’ to the heading to this post, but then I realised I could go on and also add ‘Understand’. If I did so, that would turn the headline into a questionnaire. Nevertheless, each of those words does represent an element of a strategy that a business needs to implement in order to succeed.
You can look at it this way - every business depends for its success on acquiring and then cultivating its customers or clients. To do so requires establishing and developing relationships with them. That involves knowing, recognising and understanding each one. It is not enough to draw up a ‘customer service’ policy that sets out the standards by which the business will carry out its work. As necessary as such a policy is, it overlooks how the company will acknowledge and treat the individual customer. I make this point because, from my own experience as a solo entrepreneur, I recognise it is not always understood how necessary it is to regularly reach out to your customers or clients in order to keep attuned to their expectations and requirements.
Nurturing and Cultivating
I am not suggesting that a business is unlikely to recognise the connection between its customer-base and profitability. What I am seeking to emphasise is that you should recognise the importance of focusing upon your customers or clients in a selective way. They do not comprise a homogeneous group. If they did, the task of maintaining a relationship with them would be made easy - you would need only to establish a simple, unsophisticated program of identical direct emails and newsletters.
But that won’t do in a world of wider and instant information-gathering, where it has become so important for a business to distinguish itself from the competition. It is of little purpose to claim superior expertise because quality standards are rising in all spheres generally. Do you rely on your heritage and your established reliability? That’s ok if you have a history of good work, but it does not assist the recent start-up. In any event, proof of past performance is not a guarantee for the future.
How then to spotlight your special strengths? The simple truth is that people welcome attention and useful information that is given on a regular basis. Let your business be known for maintaining an informative and enquiring relationship with your clients. Be the business that most actively seeks feedback about how you met your client’s expectations. Make a point of enquiring about what other services he or she might look for in the future. Differentiate between clients according to their wants and expectations, and by doing so you will nurture and cultivate a fuller relationship. Keep your clients informed of your services or products and what initial assistance or advice you can offer without charge.