Exceptional Business Courtesy

I got a phone message last week: "Honoree, I think I have some good news for you. Please call me back." I did exactly that, about 10 minutes later (note: I'm never too busy for good news!). The caller was my merchant services rep, Dena. She had been reviewing my account and found a way for me to save between 20-25% on my monthly transaction and processing fees. This would amount to a savings anywhere between $100 and $1000 or more, depending on the month and the number and amount of charges I run through.

Its no accident I've been working with Dena for more than a decade. This is the third time in that time she has renegotiated my fees, without my having to ask. She then called me with the good news and the simple and easy 1-2-3 steps I needed to do to take advantage of the new savings.

When was the last time you reviewed your clients list and looked for ways to (a) save them money or (b) make them more money? How are you proactively serving your clients while simultaneously protecting your own livelihood?

Now is the time to set time aside to do just that. Block out an hour or two this week to identify the top 20% of your clients ~ and then do everything you can for them. You will be pleasantly surprised about what it does for you. This is a true win-win situation and those are the best kind.

Be Proactive or Pay the Price

I recently said good-bye to my mobile phone provider of a dozen years. Throughout the years I found myself an unsatisfied client more than once. During my most recent experience, the message from customer service was: "You're under contract. Nothing we can do. Sucks to be you." As soon as I could, I let the contract run out and switched to the iPhone and AT&T. (Don't write me about your bad experiences with AT&T, I'm sure they screw up, too. Having an iPhone outweighs bad customer service in my mind at this time.)

In your client's mind, once they say, "I think I'm going to change/quit working with you," they have already made up their mind. That you don't provide good value for the money they pay you. That you don't provide good (excellent) customer service. That you don't care. (Or they've run out of money. That's another issue entirely.)

If you currently have clients you like and want to keep, brainstorm more than 20 ways you can make them Raving Fans. They should be blissed out excited they have the opportunity to be working with you. They should be your marketing department telling everyone how fantastic you are and that if they aren't happy with their current provider of your type of service, they must immediately, if not sooner, switch to you. If they aren't, you've got room for improvement and theoretically a little time to get it done.