Solomon Bruce Consulting Blog

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Step 3 To Making More Money in 2017

Really get to know your customers!   By taking a look at your full customer lists to see which customers are most profitable, you’ll most likely determine that they comprise approximately 20% of your customers, the ones who generate about 80% of overall sales!  This is Praedo’s rule (80/20 rule).

            Next, see what kind of service you provide to the other 80% of the customers.  Does every customer need 1 day turnaround service?  Do you need to stock some high value, low volume item that only sells occasionally?  These are the kind of questions that you need to address.  Here is what you will probably find:

·         Some customers are perfectly happy with 3-5 day turnaround service
·         Some customers only require weekly service
·         Some employees might be reassigned to do other tasks that might require additional staffing. This adds additional employee capability without actually increasing staffing headcount.

         A good customer analysis review at this time of year will allow you to begin the New Year with new ideas and new service expectations that will allow you to generate more profit.

          Customer service analysis is one the most important tasks that any business owner can perform!  Knowing which customers deserve and demand the best service is important.  Now, don’t get us wrong—every customer deserves the best service possible—no question there.  However, some customers, in fact, more than you might imagine, are perfectly happy with “great” service as contrasted with “extraordinary” service.

            Great service may mean a 3-5 day turnaround on product delivery, not being available 24/7/365 and not needing overnight delivery of every product ordered.  Of course, you must determine the needs and preferences of the client, and this is one time that you cannot unilaterally determine what is best for the customer without asking them!  Have a constructive conversation with your customer to determine current and projected market needs.  (And if you haven’t done one in a while, consider a quick customer survey, just here or four questions, via a digital platform like Survey Monkey.)
It may be that a customer has been a long time, okay customer, but with a little extra care, he/she may become an “A” level customer.  Has anyone ever asked them how your service could be improved or enhanced so that they could consider buying more of the product or service from your firm? Ask!

            Asking starts conversations.  Conversations develop relationships. And customer management is all about relationships.  If it has been some time since you had a visit with anyone in your client base, now is the time.  Doing so, we'll bet you’ll find:

·         Nobody ever thought that you really cared, because no one ever called to check on the customer.
·         The customer has an unfilled need that he/she would like to have fulfilled, but was not exactly sure how or whom to ask.
·         The customer may have an idea about a referral that you did not imagine or expect previously
·         The customer may have ideas about new products or services that you did not previously consider recognize or realize.

            So year-end becomes a fertile field for reviewing your customer list. You’ll identify how you can improve service to everyone, even if it means service level reductions for some.  Robust customer analysis will actually increase sales and profitability. That sounds like a solid plan for 2017. 

              We know and understand customer service.  Contact us here or give us a call at 817-386-3032 to help improve your customer service today!


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