How are your customer’s Emotional Bank Balances?
I think this is one of the most important questions you can ask yourself as you seek to build your business and is one I ask myself every three months or so.
So, what do I mean by this? Imagine your companies’ relationship with each of your customers was a bank balance.
Every time you do something that they like, that surprises them or that makes them “feel good” about you is when you make a deposit. This can be a deposit that is caused by any one of your team in any contact with that customer. Typical examples will be where you give them better service than they expected, give them something that rewards their loyalty, over-deliver against a promise and may be beat a deadline for completion of delivery or just be pleasant to deal with and be polite and friendly when transacting with them. It can also be a call to check they are happy with you (good account management). It can be where you offer something unexpected just because you want to show they are important to you – these are known as Critical Non – Essentials. Finally, it can be how you resolve a problem that they make you aware of and the resolution can leave you with a better emotional bank balance than when the problem occurred (especially if you were not the main cause of it).
As you will guess, every time you do something that displeases or frustrates them you make a withdrawal. Again, this can be down to things done by any member of your team and to any member of the customers’ team. Typical examples of these can be when a problem occurs in the delivery of your product or service, something fails or goes wrong that causes them disruption, late delivery of a service or product or rude or uncaring behaviour while you transact with them. I am sure you can think of many instances where this has happened to you by your suppliers.
Importantly, when the customer first uses your service they start in a position where they are in a small positive position – you have a small credit. If you just do the thing you were meant to do and nothing goes wrong, but nothing makes them feel good about the way you transact you neither make a deposit or a withdrawal. As a result any negative thing that happens over time where a withdrawal is made is likely to take you into an “emotion over draft”. This is a dangerous place to be and is the area where client retention becomes a concern. To avoid getting there you have to do a number of things. Firstly build a process where the products or service you deliver is designed to lead to emotion deposits and build of credit in each customers bank balance. Secondly, train all your team on the importance of this and thirdly check in regularly with your customers to ensure they are feeling good about you. Finally, have an issue reporting and resolution process where all your team make you aware when a withdrawal is likely to be being made and you can then trigger a process that redeems the status, gets you back in credit and keeps the customer happy.
Over 60% of customers leave suppliers because they don’t think they care enough about them. Make sure you are not in this place and then find customers of your competitors who have overdrafts and business growth can occur pretty quickly.
In addition, if your customers build large credits in their emotional bank balance they become your “members” – they do not look anywhere else when using the products or services you offer. Overtime they will spend more money with you and will be receptive as you add to your range of products or services. Finally, as the relationship develops they can become “advocates” or “raving fans”. This is when they are likely to refer new customers to you and tell them how good you are. You have to have a referral offer you can make them and to be aware who has reached this stage that they trust you to look after the person they refer to you.
I would suggest you draw up a list of your customers and ask yourself, who is in a low credit situation and needs some good account management, who is in a high credit situation and who could refer new customers to you. Lastly, who are you in an emotion overdraft with and who needs restorative account management to avoid them leaving you because you didn’t care.
As I said at the start, I would recommend repeating this exercise every three months or so and ensure you systemise your emotional bank balance credit gaining process and you will retain customers and grow their value to you over the months and years.
I hope you find this a useful exercise to conduct and if you would like to discuss how to apply in your business please e-mail me on email@example.com or call on 07511969690.
Thanks for reading