Entrepreneurs experience good days and bad days. There are serious highs and lows, and that is part of the journey. Sometimes we go on runs of prosperity that feel like they will last forever. Other times, we find ourselves in dark spots that feel like a storm that will never pass.
I have those days, too, and I want to shed a little light on why I believe that getting back to basics should be a fundamental focus of every single business leader and owner.
It boils down to customer experience.
Customer experience. Not products, not service, not processes, not marketing. Customer experience is the one thing in business that so often separates the winners and the losers.
When starting my business, I was relentless about being responsive to customers. When I felt even the slightest level of dissatisfaction from a customer, I picked up the phone and called to see what I could do to make them happy.
When business starts to get soft, or I lose a customer, I almost always look back at what type of experience I created for those customers. Upon review, almost every time, I find that I didn’t build a deep enough, meaningful enough personal relationship to sustain the business relationship.
As we grow, we love building brands and image – but I am convinced that, unless you are Apple or Tesla, the experience you create is what is going to make or break customers. (Note: Apple and Tesla are really good at customer experience, but they are rare exceptions where their products may be more impactful than the ongoing service and support they can provide.)
I deal all the time with vendors and external partners that don’t take this seriously enough. They take days to respond to an inquiry, or they won’t take a phone call because they are “too cool” for the phone. When a customer doesn’t feel the love, they will rarely complain – instead, they usually just take their money elsewhere.
It is six times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep one you already have – not to mention that you are 75% more likely to sell additional services to a current customer than you are a new one.
Focusing on your customers will make all the difference. For me, it’s a good reminder. All of us slip up every once in a while. As business owners who fight hard to win business, we should put equal – if not greater – fight into keeping and growing the business.
Start and end every business day with your customers being top of mind. I promise that you won’t regret it for a second. —Dan Newman, Cofounder of V3*Broadsuite
Image by: Stuart Miles