Focus on details for referrals and repeats

The new year is always a good time to read what the financial ’experts’ are forecasting.

In one broadsheet newspaper, a group of chief financial officers (what would the collective noun be for such a group?) predicted that 2012 will see a double dip recession.

What was interesting, however, were the readers’ responses – how they managed their businesses last year and were going to manage them going forward.

Controlling costs was the only constant, but the service they gave clients was paramount to gain loyalty, repeat business and, most of all, referral business.

Over the Christmas break, I’ve been on the receiving end of some excellent customer service, guaranteeing my repeat business and recommendations.

One in particular made my day. I took my car to be serviced and instead of the standard courtesy vehicle, I was given a truly amazing car to use. Seeing my quizzical look, they said they knew I liked the car and that as I was a loyal customer, they hoped I’d enjoy it for a couple of days.

Clever marketing perhaps, but they’ve got my business for as long as I keep my present car.

You will, of course, have a special relationship with your key clients, but with an extensive client relationship management system you can treat all your clients as individuals, recording details that are relevant and important to them.

Being able to recall this when you deal with clients makes them feel unique and important. And that goes a long way to keeping the customer satisfied.