Recently I had a speech for a large home-builder. It was an annual meeting, and they wanted to send their management team off with a bang. I arrived at the Westin Hotel and was greeted warmly at the front door. The doorman escorted me to the room that I would be speaking in and made sure that all of my things arrived properly.
Once in the meeting room, Mike, the hotel manager in charge of the event greeted me. He asked if he could be of service. There were a few things missing and he said that they would be taken care of immediately. I asked if we could have an extra table off to the side for props and he said, “This is the Westin. Everything is possible.”
When the table arrived Mike asked me where I would like it. I asked if a particular spot would be in the way and he responded, “Nothing is in the way. We work around you.”
Mike was there to serve me. He wanted my experience to be exceptional. He wanted me to know that working with him and his hotel would be different from any other hotel experience I’ve ever had. It was.
Are you easy to do business with, or do your customers have to “work” at doing business with you and your organization? This may be the one single determining factor in whether or not you get the business. Below are the steps you need to take to become an incredibly easy person to do business with.
It is important to fully understand what you client goes through in doing business with you.
Build a short list of some of your clients. The list should have old clients, new clients, and medium term clients. It is important to get a cross section of length of service for accurate data.
Create a survey to distribute to your list of clients. Your survey should ask questions like the following:
Why did you initially choose to do business with us?
What is the best part about our process of doing business?
What is the worst part about our process of doing business?
If you could wave a magic wand, and, we as your supplier could offer any service or convenience, what would that be?
What would another supplier need to do to be able to “entice” you away from us?
If you were in charge of this company what would you do to best take care of your customers?
What prompted you to change suppliers the last time you did so?
Would you recommend us to your friends?
More importantly, DO you recommend us to your friends?
With the results of your survey, start thinking of what you can do to make doing business with you and your organization a treat, and not a terror. How can you be different? How can you improve? Do all the steps involved in doing business with you make sense? Do they add value to the relationship? Would you do business with you? (Tough question, but you have to ask and answer it!)
Products and services are abundant. Suppliers are everywhere. Just pick up the newspaper, the Yellow Pages, the phone, or open up your Internet browser. Create an experience of doing business that can’t be replicated, and serve your clients as if they were golden; because they are, and then you will be on the road to Building a Better Biz!