You already know that providing great service and properly looking after your customers and clients is sound business practice. But how do you measure how well you’re doing in this area?
Obviously the biggest indicator of whether you’re doing it right is repeat business. They like you – they come back for more. Another indicator is referrals. They like you – they recommend you.
But there’s a lot of uncertainty you don’t know about. Perhaps they come back because you’re convenient. They haven’t yet come across another supplier. But they could be vulnerable. They could get poached with a better offer, a different option.
Good businesses ensure their customers and clients stay loyal by talking to them. They solicit feedback and gauge how they’re doing. One way to do this is with some kind of survey or questionnaire. It could be a formal written one, something online or an informal chat with a few questions.
Most companies arrange their customer or client service questionnaires around the phrase ‘satisfaction’. As head of the Global Networking Council, I deliver a lot of coaching and training on networking and referrals. In them I show how worthless the word ‘satisfaction’ actually is. A satisfied client or customer is one for whom you’ve not messed up yet! One for whom you’ve done what was expected and little more.
In the language of advocacy, there are different words and phrases to turn customers into clients into fans into advocates. Remember a fan is merely a happy client who is happy to ‘big you up’ if given the opportunity to do so. They will hopefully defend you if you’re asked. An advocate goes further – they actively look for and create opportunities to position and recommend you to others.
- Customers take home products. Clients take home stories.
- Tourists bring back souvenirs. Explorers bring back memories.
- Clients get a good service. Advocates get a great experience.
- Sales people win accounts. Leaders win hearts and minds.
- Fans give you support. Advocates give you endorsements.
Are you getting this? So how do you turn people into advocates? You could explore some coaching with me and benefit from one of my ‘Business Success Breakthrough Consultations’.
Another big thing you can do is look to create delight. Delighted patrons stay loyal and become advocates. They can’t help raving about you. Give them solutions to problems. Create stories. Journeys. Experiences. Adventures.
When you begin to think of BD as BETTER and DIFFERENT instead of BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, you’ll be on the road to developing advocates for you and your business!
Rob Brown is one the world’s leading authorities on personal marketing, networking, executive presence, referrals and reputations. He is Head of the Global Networking Council and author of the bestseller How to Build Your Reputation. As well as doing a lot of executive one-to-one mentoring on executive presence, gravitas, reputation building and networking.
For a complimentary copy of his powerful 93 page Special Report: The 13 Commandments of Turning Relationships Into Profits (value £47) go to www.rob-brown.com