At Spring Metrics, customers are our livelihood. When they’re happy, we’re in business. We spend a lot of time thinking about how to provide them a great experience—and just as importantly, a productive one. Customers are our future. And they’re yours, too.
Over time we’ve added a lot of great customers, and lost a few as well. In the process, we’ve learned that making customers happy is a journey that never really ends (nor should it). Here are five ideas we now live by.
Set Honest Expectations: For your customer, your product is the one you sell today—no more, no less. It’s not an idea or an aspiration, and it’s not the Version 2 that’s scribbled on your whiteboard. Know what your current product does well and what it doesn’t, and be sure to explain this to your customers before they become customers. A customer who knows what to expect will have a better experience than one who’s clicking around in search of features that don’t exist.
See into the Future: In working with our customers, we occasionally see them heading down roads that aren’t likely to be fruitful, or in some cases, will lead to a bad experience. We’re always on the lookout for opportunities to intervene and redirect them to a path with a better likelihood of success. This requires us to dig in and understand what their goals are—before even they can articulate them. It’s vital that you think on behalf of your customers so they can take that three-day weekend and trust that you’re on the bridge, watching for icebergs.
Touch. And Then Touch Again: Keeping a customer is easier than finding a new one. So every time you find one, you should treat them as if they’re the only one you’ve got. And that means reaching out, frequently, in ways that are useful to them. We try to make every touch meaningful—whether it’s pointing out a potential problem, or suggesting a new approach, or simply congratulating our customers on a new strategy that’s generating great results. Be a consistent—and useful—presence in their lives.
Build a Legitimate Relationship: This is perhaps the most important thing you can do to build rapport and loyalty. Building a relationship with customers is no different than building a relationship with colleagues, new friends, or even romantic prospects: It takes time, good will, generosity of spirit, attention to small details, and a willingness to see the world from the other person’s point of view. Customers stick around when they recognize you’re prioritizing their needs and that you’re in their corner for the long haul.
Get a Little Bit Crazy: Our support guru, Drew Mooney, came up with the idea of sending a personalized welcome video to every new customer. It sounded a bit crazy at first, but we ran with the idea and now it’s a signature piece of our welcome process. Customers are people, too. They enjoy a fun surprise like anyone else. So invest in novel ways to interact with them. These creative touches will provide them a glimpse into your company’s culture and also illuminate the pride and enjoyment you get from serving them. Take a chance. Find a crazy way to show your customers you love them.