By Ron Bockstahler
Increasing Revenues with Existing Clients
Revenues can come from net new business and from expanding services to existing clients. Most of a firms marketing efforts go towards net new business. Let’s discuss how we can increase revenues with existing clients. This is “low-hanging fruit” that can take a business from break-even to profitability with little financial investment. To take advantage of some of this low-hanging fruit we need to increase our value to existing clients and measure existing clients level of satisfaction.
“EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE” MINDSET
We spend years building firms that provide outstanding services and products to our clients. Most of us have client testimonials prominently displayed on our websites and throughout our marketing materials. These are satisfied clients, so let’s put some resources into winning more of their business. The first resource is your firms people. Happy employees create a culture of “Exceptional Customer Service”. Increase employee satisfaction by offering perks that motivate your staff.
Everyone in the organization must approach existing clients the same way they approach prospective clients. Think about how you treat a potential client the week you are expecting them to sign a $1 million contract with your firm. Providing them a little extra attention. Making sure they have everything they need. If we showing existing clients this same type of attention, maybe they too will be signing an agreement for an additional $1 million in annual revenue.
CUSTOMER SURVEYS TO CREATE RAVING FANS
Before we approach existing clients to use more of our services, we first need to measure their satisfaction with existing services. One way to do this is the Net Promoter System, created by Fred Reichheld in 2003. The Net Promoter Score is the percentage of customers who are promoters (those who rate your services a 9 or 10 on a scale of 1-10) minus the percentage who are detractors (those who score your services 1 to6). To obtain a score from a client you will need to conduct regularly scheduled client surveys.
CLIENT SURVEYS IN ACTION
Two recent incidents led me to write this article and both involve customer surveys. The first is a vendor Amata uses and the other was an unhappy Amata client. Let’s start with the vendor. For 2 months Amata requested to have an ice maker installed. The assigned representative was aloof and uncooperative. This vendor sent out a random customer survey and our manager used this survey to report our dissatisfaction with the delayed install. The companies quick response was amazing. The ice maker was installed within a week after the survey was submitted. Amata went from a customer looking to leave the company to a happy client, willing to consider this company for the next installation.
The second incident involved an Amata client. The client completed a survey 60-days after joining Amata. In the survey the client expressed dissatisfaction with a billing issue and a couple other items. Amata’s management team immediately met to plan a course of action. A response was sent to this client, addressing each of the concerns, the following day. The client’s follow up response was to praise Amata’s team for addressing the concerns. The client also commended the Amata staff for their professionalism. In both incidents, an unhappy client was turned into a raving fan, with potential for additional services in the future. These are two excellent examples of how the use of surveys help take the pulse of your clients, identify unhappy clients, and turn them into raving fans for your firm.
If you’re interested in hearing more about how you can add more flexibility to your office expenses, contact us and let’s talk.