Over deliver and become valuable

friday, 4 november of 2011

Over deliver and become valuable

by Chris Crossland

So here we are in an environment of economic uncertainty and the question is who is going to survive. It is my opinion, that it is those individuals and businesses that become valuable to their customers that will continue to flourish and develop.

One of the best ways to do this is to have an understanding of how you or your business is perceived by your customers or clients, and to nurture that perception.

It is not enough just to do the task at hand, and then invoice the customer. Doing enough is not enough anymore, because others do more and are constantly raising customer expectations. Just giving "good value" is not going to be enough anymore.

Now the old fashioned mindset of doing more for less is something, which causes great distress. The problem here is that significant number of low quality business owners still operate on the basis of short changing customers and delight in ripping them off, rather than providing customers with outstanding customer service.

Thankfully as this recession bites even harder these organizations will crumble and disappear. The main reason is that there are many, many new companies who go the extra mile at every level of the organization and make customers feel really special.

The moment your customer needs you and wants to work with you to develop new opportunities is the moment you have actually succeeded and have become valuable.

It is not enough just to fulfill an order at the right time at the right price. It is not enough to do just enough. This is the time we have to go the extra mile to provide that extra service -- do something extra within the cost model that ensures your customers really recognize you as a valued supplier.

This can easily be achieved by building flexibility into the cost structure. I recommend that within the pricing structure a small percentage is included that enables your business to go the extra mile without having to be constantly concerned about the cost implications.

I recommend that this small percentage is then used on a regular basis in such away that the customer feels that they are special, and that you really value their business.

Having in the past used this technique with clients' pricing strategy, it was possible on a regular basis to provide senior sales staff with the ability to allocate cash to a particular client's specific interests. This was highly regulated but worked exceptionally well. During a business relationship, clients would identify charitable interests that were important to them, and it was then possible to show support throughout the year. The beauty of this pricing strategy was that these amounts were built in from the outset. The joy was that the pricing strategy included this so in effect the clients were getting back something that was built into the price structure anyway.

The effect was to reinforce the relationship and change the perception of the supplier -- they had become valued partners.

This is just one example of how you can consider ways of becoming more than just a supplier, and shows how the correct pricing structure can help deliver to the customer more than just the service or product they are paying for.


© Trey Ryder

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