Corpcentre's Blog

May 4, 2010

How to Make Yourself Invaluable to the Customers

Let’s face the facts. If you ever believed that attracting new customers was your biggest business challenge, you were sorely mistaken. Winning customers is less than half the battle. The bigger challenge, most business owners would agree, is how to keep them. After all, if you devoted most of your energy in trying to attract a customer to you, logic dictates that someone else is also trying. Therefore, you have to work extra hard to retain that customer, rather than their moving to the competition.

But, how do you put that theory into actual practice? If you have developed a successful service or product, chances are very good that your competitor is working on an improved version. And, the improved version just may sway the customer from you to the competition.

The human aspect is a vital component of success. You have to create an environment that a customer will regret leaving. Certainly, business is about sales and strategies, finance and finesse. It’s also all about people. Becoming more than a supplier of goods and services is the secret link. Learn to appreciate that your customer has needs outside of normal office hours. Be ready to go the distance for your customers and they will remember. Make their concerns your concerns, even at the risk of having a major headache. Also, think outside the box. How can you help your client’s business, above and beyond what you already supply? Work hard to make yourself an extension of your client’s enterprise. The customer should know and feel that you can always be counted on, no matter what or when, even if they only need advice. True, talk is cheap but it can be an investment with a fantastic return.

From the first time a new customer comes through your door, approach the moment as the start of a long term relationship. If you proceed along those lines, you will have laid the foundation for a bright future.

Incorporate in Canada with CorporationCentre.ca
Click. You’re incorporated ®

April 22, 2010

Customer Red Flags to Watch Out for

If you are in business, you know that you have to constantly be on alert on all fronts. You try as hard as you can to plan and operate your business with clear guidelines. Sometimes, though, all the planning cannot prevent the unexpected. Many business leaders will tell you that the problems from outside are the biggest challenge.

In order for you to operate, you count on suppliers for goods and services. Your cash flow is dependant on timely payment by your customers. Any disruption from your suppliers or customers can be harmful to your operations. Continued disruption can become fatal. However, by being vigilant and spotting the early warning signs of potential problems, you can avoid trouble before it happens.

Keep abreast of a customer’s payments. If the payments start becoming delinquent on a regular basis, they may be in trouble. Don’t wait, though, until they stop paying. Open up a dialogue early to help you collect payments while their doors are still open.

Another warning sign is commonly known as nit-picking. You owe a customer a small credit and they refuse to pay their large bill until the credit is received. This stalling tactic should indicate to you that all is not well, as they could obviously just deduct the credit and send the balance. Perhaps, the customer suddenly begins sending you the balance in several payments, without consulting with you. Your early warning signal should be blaring loudly.

Have you noticed that there has been a large turnover of employees at your customer or supplier? Is this a sign that the passengers are jumping ship before it sinks? When you called to speak to someone over there, the usual perky, friendly reception was replaced by a rather laconic, curt reply or a disinterested, half-hearted response. Be on the alert and assess the situation carefully. You need to protect your interests.

Keeping one step ahead of the storm can be your best insurance plan.

Incorporate in Canada with CorporationCentre.ca
Click. You’re incorporated ®

April 1, 2010

Customers at the Centre

Filed under: business,buyer's market,customers,customize,marketplace,needs — corpcentre @ 9:29 pm

An all too common mistake of many businesses is losing sight of what is truly important. It is relatively easy to get caught up in strategic planning, marketing techniques, employee relations, technological upgrading, and a milieu of other items that are important to the successful operation of a business. But, when the dust settles, we tend to forget the most important element of our business – the customer.

The customer is the core of our business. Without customers, business is just…a business. It won’t sell but it will be there, though not for long. In today’s market, customers are bombarded with information and have more choices available than ever. Gone are the days of Pop’s General Store. Pop sold everything and when he didn’t, you made do without. Today, it’s a buyer’s market. Customers can shop for virtually everything they want. Internet shopping makes the world their marketplace. In order for a business to attract buyers, they must be able to reach out to that customer in a way that will get the business noticed.

Find out what the customer really needs or wants, not what you think. What issues are affecting the customer that will cause them to need your product or service? Why should the customer identify with you?

Sometimes, the customer is unsure of what they need. They may know that they are in a certain situation and “something” could help them, if they only knew what it was. This is a chance for your business to fill that void. Customize your service or product to help the customer.

Think outside the box. Inside the box is your business. The customer is outside. Find out what your business must do to break through the constraints. Remember that you need the customer more than they need you. However, when you can create the link that makes their needs your needs, you’ll put your business on the winning track.

Incorporate in Canada with CorporationCentre.ca
Click. You’re incorporated ®

Blog at WordPress.com.