Caring for Clients

Bricks, Mortar and Inventory
When I ask some people what is the most valuable asset in their business, many will take this literally and talk about the physical things that their business owns:
equipment, their office space, products and inventory are all important, but I want them to focus on something else that keeps all that in place, the client and customer. Your loyal customer base is the most important asset your business "owns." Keeping that customer base growing and happy is life blood to your success.

People: First, Last and Always
Without people, let's face it; our businesses are nothing. Every service, every product, even if it is a distance from the ultimate consumer by a chain of distributors, is still dependent on an actual person at the end. When clients tell me they know that customer care is important, they will cite a dozen different reasons why they can't afford the time to do it. The good news is that it really doesn't take that much time. The first thing is getting your client list in shape.

The List of Satisfied Customers
When I work with my coaching clients, I always ask, "Do you have a list of current and former clients and is it up to date?" If the answer is "No," the first step in getting that together is to block off some time each day to start making that list. If you have an old list, you need to get it up to date. If you haven't talked to someone in awhile, give them a call and check to see if their contact information is up to date.

Build the List
One easy way to build your list is to be sure that you follow up and enter the information of every prospective client you meet into your database. If you are too busy to do this, hire someone to do it for you, or invest in a card scanner that enters the information automatically.

Care and Feeding of your Clients
Try to imagine your client database as a wonderful magical beast that when properly cared for, bestows riches and abundance on you and your business. First of all, pay attention to them. I A note, email, call are all ways to keep in touch. What to say? I'm thinking of you, how are you?
How often is enough? Quarterly is not too often and if you vary the means of contact, monthly is not too often either. Bottom line is that if you don't value your client, and take extraordinary care of them, they will find someone who will.