must try harder. Developing and maintaining a sterling reputation that creates a trusted brand that generates good word-of-mouth and referrals is how we succeed. Delivering excellent products and services every time is vital, but there are additional factors that play important roles.
Instituting the quality control procedures collectively called”Best Practices” as the cornerstone of our operations protocols is a bright thing to do. Because it is much easier to retain a current customer than to obtain a new one, you may want to incorporate Best Practices to your business venture.
Credibility counts which means you keep your word. If you can’t meet a milestone or some other commitment, speak up as early as possible so that an alternative plan can be made and enacted. If you’re transparent about possible roadblocks and barriers, your forthright behavior will be valued and respected.
Be truthful in every facet of your business dealings. Avoid any and every temptation to misrepresent or exaggerate your expertise, qualifications, experience, or capacity to follow a timetable or perform within a certain budget.
If half of life is showing up, then another half is surely follow-up. If a customer or prospect asks a question, follow-up with the response. If someone makes a referral for you, or you promise to make the referral for a friend or colleague, then hit out (I recently did that for a client and sent his contact information to a VIP who requested to check out his work).
Admit and fix mistakes
Sometimes we drop the ball. It is embarrassing and frustrating, but one must own up. Attempting to blame others isn’t cool (even if it is someone else’s fault). Never attempt to ignore or cover up your organization’s participation in something that went wrong. Instead, take responsibility, apologize and do whatever is possible to make amends and learn from the experience.
Arrive on time
The meeting before your meeting can run long and you may be unable to leave. Traffic or public transport can be in gridlock. The alarm clock might not go off. If it appears that you will be late for a customer meeting, make contact ASAP and estimate your arrival time.
If you’re one who is consistently late, take steps to allow yourself more time. Punctuality is a manifestation of your brand and your organization’s ability to deliver. If parking is generally a challenge at your destination, or if the weather is poor, leave 30 minutes early and give yourself some wiggle room. Arriving early is obviously acceptable.
Thanking those with whom you do business is terrific for relationship building. On all your invoices, add a line and invite your client for being your customer. At December holiday time, send cards to present and lapsed clients. If you can get an opportunity, take a client to coffee or lunch and add a positive new dimension to the relationship.
As you get to know each other outside the office, you’ll get a better understanding of your customer on a personal and professional level and you’ll feel much more comfortable and better prepared to work together on future missions. Your customer might even share information about an upcoming job at his/her organization and you might be invited to have a role in the procedure. Showing appreciation is always appreciated and it can pay off, as well.