It’s funny how perception changes as your business grows up.
In our first year of business, we were obsessed with making our biggest (and only) customer happy.
They represented more than 90% of our revenue and we would do whatever it took to make them successful.
Need your floors cleaned? We got you covered.
Did the barista froth your latte enough on the way in to work? Have no fear we have one of those fancy IKEA frothier for ya to use.
Looking back on that first year, this obsession was both our best and worst policy.
Why was it the worst policy?
Well, that’s pretty simple: It could have put us out of business.
A single email that said “we’re going to use a different marketing services vendor” would have done the trick.
In fact, a year down the road that client did send an email to that effect.
The email said that the entire division was being laid off. Adios, client!
Yikes! Talk about having too many eggs in 1 basket 🙂
You said this could be good though …
So how could this ever be a good policy? Much less the best policy?
Well there are four reasons I can think of off the top of my head:
1) Trench Buddies
Success becomes mandatory for you. Just like it is for the client. It puts the same amount of praise and pressure on you as the it does on the client. It puts you in the trenches with your client.
And guess what that builds…
Quickest way to earn your customer’s trust? Put your own neck on the line alongside them. You can’t buy that kind of relationship. You have to earn it. The customer and your team will spill blood in the name of winning that battle and war. Trust me on that one.
3) Pen Pals (but more serious)
Making your customer happy (can) require near constant communication.
There’s never a day or two that goes by without …
- You communicating what is happening
- Why it’s happening
- What you’re doing to fix it or boost it
4) No Surprises
Avoid getting caught with your pants down.
If you constantly communicate with your customer in the trenches, you should never get a surprise phone call from your customer that goes something like “We’re going to take this business to another vendor…”
Case in point: Just this week we took a piece of business away from an established competitor in our space.
The client had hired a new VP of marketing (someone we used to work with) and she was evaluating their vendors. When this particular vendor failed to impress her, she asked us to bid on the business.
They had never been in the trenches with her. We had. They had never had more than two phone calls with her. We had hundreds. Within 30 days, the competing vendor was gone and we had the business.
In Summary …
Treat every client you have as if they were your most important.
Too tough to do?
That’s a red flag that you’re stretching your people too thin. Or you don’t have the resources to provide killer service to your customers. Or that you have too many customers.
Think I’m even halfway correct? Then share this story on social media.