Friday, August 20, 2010

10 ways to Support your Best Customers-10

Wrapping up this series from Inc:

10 Ways to Support Your Best Customers

Every company is in the service industry, right? Expert pointers for how to best perform for your best accounts.

By Inc. Staff |
Even if you're not in the customer service business, there's one clear way to please your customers: act like serving them is your first priority. We've compiled tips from expert interviews and articles that have appeared in Inc. and on to find the most poignant pointers for pleasing your most valuable customers.

10. When in doubt, ask what your customers want.

When Norm Brodsky looks back to his first year of doing business, one instance of impromptu customer satisfaction stands out. As a transit strike appeared eminent in New York City in 1980, Brodsky wrote: "I realized I was facing a potential disaster. Perfect Courier was barely seven months old. We were doing about $30,000 or $40,000 a month in sales." Then he went to a person he respected in the office of a client and was handed an idea: use the existing company vehicles to not just deliver packages during the strike, but also help Perfect Courier's clients get their people where they needed to be. And it helped Perfect Courier grow much closer to its best clients. Brodsky writes: "During the strike, we saw them every day, and they became our friends, as did the executives at other accounts. They came to our office for coffee and doughnuts." Also: "Aside from the additional cash and the new sales, I took away from the episode one of the most important lessons I've learned in business: When in doubt, go to your customers. They will tell you what they want and lead you to solutions you'd never come up with on your own. Indeed, just about every successful new initiative I've taken in business since then has come from listening to customers." Read more.

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