Creating and maintaining a sterling reputation that makes a trusted brand that produces good word-of-mouth and referrals is how we succeed. Delivering excellent products and services each time is vital, but there are additional factors that play significant roles.
Instituting the quality control processes collectively called “Best Practices” as the cornerstone of our operations protocols is a bright thing to do. Because it is far easier to keep a current customer than to obtain a new one, you might choose to incorporate Best Practices to your business enterprise.
Credibility counts which means you keep your word. If you can’t meet a milestone or another commitment, talk up as soon as possible so that an alternate plan can be made and enacted. If you’re transparent about possible roadblocks and barriers, your forthright behavior will be valued and respected.
Be truthful in every facet of your business transactions. Steer clear of any and every desire to misrepresent or exaggerate your experience, qualifications, expertise, or capacity to adhere to a timetable or perform in a specific budget.
If half of life is showing up, then another half is surely follow-up. If a customer or prospect asks a question, follow-up with the response. If a person makes a referral for you, or you promise to make the referral for a friend or colleague, then hit out (I recently did that for a customer and sent his contact information to a VIP who requested to take a look at his work).
Admit and fix mistakes
Occasionally we drop the chunk. It is annoying and embarrassing, but one has to own up. Trying to blame others isn’t cool (even if it’s somebody else’s fault). Never try to ignore or cover up your company’s participation in something that went wrong.
The meeting prior to your meeting can run long and you might not be able to leave. Traffic or public transport can be in gridlock. The alarm clock might not go off. If it appears you’ll be late for a customer meeting, make contact ASAP and estimate your arrival time.
If you’re one who is always late, take action to allow yourself more time. Punctuality is a manifestation of your brand and your organization’s ability to deliver. If parking is generally a challenge in your destination, or if the weather is poor, leave 30 minutes early and give yourself some wiggle room. Arriving early is obviously acceptable.
Thanking those with whom you do business is terrific for relationship building. On all your invoices, add a line and invite your customer for being your customer. At December vacation time, send cards to present and lapsed clients. If you can get an opportunity, have a client to lunch or coffee and include a positive new dimension to your relationship.
As you get to know each other out the office, you will get a better understanding of your customer on a professional and personal level and you will feel much more comfortable and better prepared to work together on future missions. Your customer might even share details about an upcoming job at his/her organization and you might be invited to have a role in the procedure.