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What are you doing to attract and retain loyal customers?

We’ve been talking in our past couple of newsletters about Fulfilling the Promise you make to yourself, your employees and your customers and the importance of processes and systems that allow you to deliver consistency and quality.

 What else are you doing to retain your good clients?   For most companies, lead generation and business development are keys to growth and profitability.  But even more important is keeping the customers you already have and getting them to buy more! 

How often and in what ways do you say “thank you”?  What are you doing to find new solutions to the issues your clients face? 

Branding has become a significant marketing concept.  But branding is much more than a clever tag line or a 30 second elevator speech.  Branding should say who you are as a company, what you stand for, what you can be counted on to deliver and why someone should develop a long-term business relationship with you.

Take an objective step back and look at your marketing materials, ad campaigns, website and determine if your message is consistent and if it accurately reflects the company you are today.

Does your branding reflect the vision and values of the organization?  Do your employees know the importance of that branding message in how they interact with your customers?  Your branding promise and your unique selling proposition should be reflected in your day-to-day operation, from the way your receptionist answers the phone and directs the calls to the delivery of the product.  

I recently went to purchase a computer from a store which advertises low prices and quality service, only to learn that if I wanted to get their advertised low price, I couldn’t buy it in the store, but had to go home and buy it on line.  After some conversation, we determined that I could go on line from one of their computers in the store and make my purchase and then walk up to the customer service counter with the receipt and pick up the product…. A good example of running your customer through the ringer before giving them the price you promised! 

A recently new term in business books is “stakeholders”.  It means not only your shareholders, but also everyone else who has a “stake” in your business including employees, customers, vendors, and your community. 

Mort Meyerson, CEO of Perot Systems, in a recent Fast company magazine interview said,"One hundred years from now, we’ll know we were on the right track if there are more organizations where people are doing great work for their customers and creating value for their shareholders.  And raising their children, nurturing their families and taking an interest in their communities.  And feeling proud of the contributions they make.  These are things you can’t measure when winning and losing are the only financial metrics.”


Suggested Action Steps:

1.    Invite a couple of business people and consumers who don’t currently work with you or your organization to review your marketing materials, ads and websites and tell you what they perceive, and where there are inconsistencies.

2.    Ask some of your current customers to rate their experience with your company against what your branding statement promises.

3.    Think about your branding statement wearing the shoes of your other stakeholders, employees vendors and community.

4.  Review your branding statement against your vision and values statements and make any corrections or adjustments to bring them in alignment


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