Small business owners are always inundated with advice about how to grow their business and acquire new customers. Of course, that’s not bad advice, but what often gets neglected is the importance of retaining your current clients and providing them with good service. This is particularly true during tough economic times like the ones we have now.
In today’s climate a bird in the hand is worth…well, maybe three or four in the bush. Sure, it’s great if your business can grow, but maybe now is a time when you shouldn’t be as worried about constant improvement. Give yourself a break and remind yourself that sometimes winning is about not falling behind. Sometimes winning is just staying the course and remaining in the race.
Keep Clients Informed
Do your clients know what you’re doing for them? That sounds like a basic question, but it’s one you should definitely ask yourself. While your services to them are top of mind for you, they have lots of other things to worry about. It doesn’t hurt to remind them occasionally of what you’re doing for them—whether it’s in a call or an email or an official report.
They need to know the value of the money they’re spending with you. If you’re adding a service—even something small—that is providing more value, don’t keep it a secret! They can’t read minds any more than you can. Tell them how you’re adding value.
Be There for Your Clients
Your clients are experiencing the same economic stresses and worries that you are. Everyone is worried about what will happen this year and how the economy will fare. Now is the time to show your clients that you can be there for them. Stay abreast of industry developments—track the websites and read the blogs—and share relevant information. They’re probably too busy trying to keep their heads above water to follow the latest news themselves.
And think about how you can better serve them. Remember, there are two ways you can help your clients out: you can help them grow their income or reduce their expenses. Especially right now, cutting costs is of interest to lots of businesses.
Going the Extra Mile
At Office Accomplice we’re always looking around to see what our clients need. When Congress passed the CARES Act in March, we recognized that information about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) could be very valuable to our clients. We produced a series of short blogs, which we cleverly called “bloglets,” alerting our clients to the opportunity that PPP presented for them.
Of course, this isn’t technically part of Office Accomplice’s job and it doesn’t bring in any money to the company directly. However, it did provide a valuable service to our clients. In fact, one client remarked to me that my bloglets on PPP helped him better understand the program when he discussed it with his bank. In other words, that small value add made him just a little bit happier with us. And that’s what customer service is all about.