Turn customers into clients
September 1: the first day of our eastbound 2021 Cross Country Adventure. We checked in at the Roseburg Riverside RV Park on the banks of the Umpqua River. We eagerly looked forward to dinner with Steve Potter, owner of C&S Fire-Safe Services, LLC, and his family.
We began working with Steve and his team in the winter of 2007. After surveying the team, we conducted a two-day, Leadership Team Advance™ off-site. C&S set aggressive BHAG “Big Hairy Audacious Goals” for 2008 including performance goals for every department. Each territory established new performance standards and feedback systems were agreed to for tracking performance. In less than 90 days, new sales performance records were set. C&S was off and running.
During this time, I met Steve’s family when his wife, Helen, brought their preschool aged children by the C&S office. Their daughter Ceci is now a freshman in college. His son Brook will follow her in two years. It was great to see his kids now that they’re all grown up.
After a wonderful Thai dinner, Steve asked us over to his house and to see Helen’s “5X” (five times more enthusiasm) projects. What a joy! Helen caught Steve’s Turbo 5X bug, tiled the kitchen backsplash, and the guest bath. It was a delight for us to learn about their next 5X project, new kitchen cabinet doors.
As I stress in Repeat Business: 6 Steps to Superior Customer Service, moving from transaction to repeat business is the first step toward building the trust required to establish client relationships. The strategy of every successful enterprise is to convert customers to clients. The cost of acquiring new customers is, at least, six times higher than serving repeat customers. You must aim at converting every customer to the trusting client status.
It’s well understood that repeat business is more profitable than one-time customers. It’s also true, that once customers stop being just customers, and become your trusting clients, they are often counted among your best friends.
Think about it. Isn’t it true that you look forward to seeing your clients? They help make your day, add richness in many ways to your life’s experience. When they retire, move on to another company, if you lose track of them, you sense a loss. More than clients, isn’t it true that some become confidants?
So today, treat every customer like they will one day be one of your best friends. See them, not as a sale, instead see them as a future best friend. You will be all the richer for it.