Simon Kallu: Why Enthusiastic Clients Are So Important

Enthusiastic Clients Encourage Others To Seek Your Services

Most business self-help books focus on attracting customers or improving a technical aspect of operation. And even though lead generation like this is great, it usually involves constant sourcing of new cold prospects and warming them up, which is costly and time-consuming and takes your time away from your best source of retention and business growth — your clients!

Most books on generating new business don’t tell you to listen to your clients first. My belief is that every sales book should start out by giving you this simple piece of advice. Countless business owners, including myself, have focused too much on new business development and not enough on making sure your clients are all raving fans. They are your best source of feedback from the outset. If you can ask them what they value, like, and dislike about your service, they will stay with you. And if they love you, they’ll recommend you wherever they go.

Listening To Clients Drives Innovation

If you regularly ask clients what they think, you will ensure consistent innovation, even if you suffer from a lack of internal idea generation.

One client provided me with feedback and remarked that it would be great if he could access a contractor-specific package that included things like mortgage pre-approval based on the daily rate. We worked with that client to decide the specific package inclusions and then did market research on another three clients before launching the package. If we hadn’t started the conversation, we would never have known (or at least taken a lot longer to get there).

I recommend using a system where clients can give honest and constructive feedback. Something like Trustpilot is great because it’s simple. It asks what you do well or not so well, and if you get a poor review you can ask the client for three months to resolve the situation. If you do that and more, you can then ask for another review and post that as a satisfactory response.

If you do this, prospects can see you are authentic, don’t hide anything, and do make mistakes but work diligently to fix and resolve them as quickly as possible. A good tip for taking action is don’t apply all of the feedback. Look for patterns and levers. What comes up most often and what should you prioritise? The biggest innovators, such as Apple, didn’t ask their clients if they wanted iTunes. That was pure internal innovation. However, they definitely asked for feedback once it was a live product and have been honing it ever since, based on client and market review.

How To Ensure Clients Are Enthusiastic

Now that you have seen the value of enthusiastic clients, you are probably wondering what you can do to make sure they feel good about your services.

We are guilty in our lives at times of not recognising the value of something, and customers often need to be told what outcomes you have achieved, what value you have added, and where they were on a regular basis before you came along.

If you illustrate value creation to your clients in this way, it switches their mentality to one of gratitude. How you do this will depend on your industry. I would suggest B2B services, regular reviews of objectives versus results and setting objectives for the next period. Ask the client what they would consider a successful year with you. Then write down the achievable goals and sign off on it together.

Naturally, it is critical that you complete your end of the bargain. Painting the picture of life before or without you creates a comparison in the mind. Imagine an image you edit on Photoshop. Unless you use the split screen, your brain normalises the new image and that becomes the new set point. Always try to keep the original image in your client’s mind, as well as the new versions, as you move through the relationship. This can be achieved in a variety of ways and will change depending on if your business is service or product-based.