Updated August 2023
Maybe it's because I grew up in retail, where Mom and Daddy insisted we treat customers the way we wanted to be treated when we were shopping, but I've always been focused on customer experience as an agency owner.
Working smart for clients and exceeding their expectations feels like table stakes to me. Yet it's a form of business development that I don't think enough business owners focus on. Here's why.
The Golden Rule is good business
1. Giving as good as you'd like to get is good business, of course, because it drives repeat business.
It's the best way I know to ensure that your clients keep coming back for more. Deliver quality on time (or early) and on budget and you've got a client for life. Even better if you can give them more for the same dollar than the other guys. Fun Fact: Most of our clients are repeat customers.
2. Delighted clients are loyal customers.
One of my favorite benefits from over-delivering is when a client moves to a new division or organization and brings The Word Factory along. In fact, this is probably my favorite, because the existing relationship enables us to team up and blow the new group's mind together. I've got so many clients today who I've worked with at multiple companies, some for 20 or 30 years!
3. Great product/service delivery drives referrals.
While they might not refer to you the competition, delighted clients are usually happy to refer you (often without your having to ask) to their friends and colleagues. That's invaluable. They also are receptive to requests for introductions to prospects you'd like to add to your client roster.
You can save money on business development -- or get more from your biz dev spend -- if you take better care of your current customers. Get on it!