Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How to End a Relationship With a Client



The Time Has Come

From time to time we have to make hard choices in life. Sometimes these choices include saying good-bye to a client. Here are a few ways you can do it while still maintaining the peace and your own integrity.

Good – Bad – Good

This principle has been around for a long time. The idea behind it is to try to find something good about the client, then explain the problems, and end with something good. This way the client gets his or her bad news sandwiched between two less painful explanations.

For example, tell the client that you have really appreciated his or her business for however long they were there. Then explain that things are just not working out to meet the expectations of either party. Explain some of the reasons you feel your company can no longer provide them with your service. 



Finally, you can explain to the client that the separation is best for the both of you. The client can go out and find a better place to fulfill their needs. It has become clear that your company “obviously” cannot provide the service they need. Your company won’t hurt him, and he or she can excel with someone else.

You have heard the expression “the customer is always right.” Using this formula will maintain this by letting them know that your company is not right for them, but there are some out there that could be.

Don’t Burn The Bridge

This step couldn’t be more important. Just remember good or bad customers are all customers. Even if they are not working with you, they do have mouths. Word of mouth can spread quickly. If the word is good, you will gain more business. If bad, it can only hurt you.

It is easy to see that if you leave a bad taste in their mouth, they will probably tell a lot of people. By being nice, they will respect you, and explain to others that your company didn’t work out for them, BUT your company was a good company all the same.

In addition, you never know if they may eventually return in the future. Chances are they were the difficult ones or you probably wouldn’t want to get rid of them.

By using the formula above, they will remember that you were honest. If the day comes they find another business and express the same behavior, they will probably lose that one too. If they reflect, see the errors they made on their own. They may just come back and apologize.

Shake Hands Forms A Truce

The tradition of shaking hands is commonly believed to have started as a way for warriors to offer truce by putting forth their empty weapon hand. In doing this, they are offering a peace. When letting go of a client, this can work in a similar way. You can express that you mean them no harm and wish them luck on their journey.




How to Create a Customer for Life



Pick of the Litter

If life were as easy as having your pick of the litter when gaining customers, every business would be thriving. Unfortunately, customers are an important asset that need to be earned. So how do you earn a customer for life? Let’s explore.

Honesty

I cannot express enough, the importance of being honest with your customers. If you want to develop a strong customer base, ANY form of dishonesty will not work.

Customers are tired of being promised one thing and receiving another. They want to deal with a company that they know they can trust. Even if it may cost you a little on a sale, if your honest, the customers will likely return because of your honesty and more than make up for it.



If a customer feels they cannot trust you they will go comparison shopping in any industry. When they know they can trust you, they are more willing to maybe spend an extra dollar on a product because they know they can count on it.

Smile

The smile is probably the easiest way to gain customers. Honesty will keep them, but the smile will get them in the door. Seeing a happy face, will immediately put someone at ease.

If it is a first time client, that smile will take away the discomfort they may feel by not knowing anything about your company. They will walk in the door and feel comfortable and happy that someone is there to greet them and assist them with their needs.

Cleanliness

Cleanliness comes in three forms, the product, the facility, and the self. Keeping all three in line, will ensure a great first impression which can only mean repeat business.

Naturally this idea is determined by the industry. The customer is probably not going to expect clean hands and a floor that shines in a car repair shop’s garage. On the other hand, when a client walks into a Fortune 500 business, they are not going to want to see dirty floors and a receptionist that forgot to shave that morning.

Stand Behind Your Product and Make Good on It If Needed

This also comes with more than one step. First and foremost, know your product. It is impossible to honestly stand behind a product that you nothing about. Be familiar with every nook and cranny of your business. No clients want to deal with a person that can’t answer their questions.

Be confident that you are presenting a quality product that you can stand behind. If something ever goes wrong with the product, you will likely be the first person they go to. If you are well informed, you can best serve your customer.

If a solution can’t be found, make it right. Don’t ever argue with a client, just hear them out, identify their needs, and do whatever you can to make sure those needs are addressed.

If you follow these steps, you are certainly on your way to have customers that will last a lifetime.