Business & Marketing
Customer visits pay dividends
One of the perks that I have continued to enjoy as a business owner is that I still visit with and see clients on a regular basis.
In spite of the fact, as Victor Harding points out, that as your business grows so does the time that you need to put into managing it, I find that the front line customer contact is very important, and extremely informative. I find it keeps me on my toes in terms of how we are touching our clients, the technologies we deploy and that we meet if not exceed their expectations.
Two short stories illustrate how important it is to be “out there.”
I recently visited with a client who had an attempted burglary. It actually was a successful intrusion; however the thieves did not get away with anything. A long ladder was left in the backyard and the master bedroom top floor crank type window was left partially ajar since it could not close completely.
Up went the ladder, in came the thieves, and they went through the master bedroom gathering their take. However one of them stepped outside the master bedroom and was detected by the second floor PIR motion detector. The siren started to howl, the telephone rang, and fortunately the intruders hastily left without taking anything. So while I was walking around with the clients I mentioned that the security system worked exactly as it was supposed to – that this is was a textbook case on how the system is designed and supposed to work with the result of minimizing the amount of time the thieves stay in the home. The husband turned to his wife and said, “Did you tell him how the smoke detector activated when the furnace caught on fire a few years ago?” They recounted the story, how pleased they were, and how we possibly saved lives that evening. I of course could not resist pointing out that once again the system did exactly what it was designed to do, and whatever recommendations I made were quickly accepted.
One of our clients sold their home, and it was purchased coincidentally by an old classmate of mine who happens to be in a construction related business. In spite of the fact that we had never done business before but because we had the security system already installed and in operation he decided to give us the opportunity to give him a proposal for an extensive upgrade of his system. We spent some time together, assessed his needs together and came up with a package that we felt would best meet his expectations. We did the job, and it went very smoothly. I know that, since he took the time to thank us for the flood detector that we installed in his laundry room off of his kitchen. The washing machine was hooked up incorrectly and we saved him some huge damages and a lot of inconvenience.
The point that I am trying to make is that no matter what your company’s size is and where you are in it, you need to listen to your clients. At the end of the day, they are the ones paying your bills.