So someone asked me recently if there's anything at all that I would not do to satisfy my clients, given that my clients vouch for a lot of things that we do for them... and we have excellent relationships with all of our clients. So they wanted to know if there's anything we would NOT do for client satisfaction?
I said that this is a very easy question to answer. But that the answer would totally and utterly surprise, and maybe even confuse them.
Because I rarely… VERY rarely… do anything at all out of the ordinary to satisfy a demanding client or customer. I simply issue a refund, blacklist them so they can never buy again, and move on.
- Effectiveness: I can’t be very effective if I waste time catering to people’s whims and fancies without the leverage of economies of scale. Sure, I’ll add bells and whistles (and of course deeper and more enhanced core functionality) to my products that serve my customers and clients. But to go out of the way for one client or customer isn’t effective.
- Poor expectations: You go out of the way for someone once, they’ll always expect you to go out of the way for them. What is worse is when you don’t go out of the way for them, or for someone else because it’s not viable, they’ll feel cheated. As if they didn’t get the complete experience. It’s not just about that one customer’s expectations, it’s about ALL your customers’ expectations. You could be providing a great standardized experience, and they’d still complain if they didn’t get the extra care that someone else did. So either everyone gets it, or no one.
- Reputation: You can have any reputation at all that you like. But the one reputation that you can’t afford to have as a business is that of someone who can’t be consistent with their delivery.
Now, I am all about disproportionation.
The top 1% of your clients bring in more than half your revenue. But I don't go out of the way for them by giving them extras on a product everyone buys. I create a separate product or offer for them. Even if that means that there's only one or two clients availing themselves of that offer. Much like our (now defunct) consulting program and our white-glove implementation programs. The consulting program had quite a few members at one point of time... and everyone received the exact same level of service as everyone else.
The done-for-you white-glove implementation program has a very small number of clients. And they all get a very different experience than they did when they were consultation clients. But the experience is consistent across the board for the product. And that's what matters.
So my take on client satisfaction is simple...
- Don't go out of the way for any client.
- Instead, create a better product or service for everyone taking your offers.
- And then be completely consistent in your delivery.
- Consistency and quality far outweighs specials and freebies.
Until next time,