Focusing in on your existing clientele.
Since the majority of your new business will come from referrals, it certainly makes sense to treat your customers right.
I recently posted the following on LinkedIn, after a really bad experience with our favourite airline:
“How poor can airline service become before consumers have had enough?
Rouge, out of Toronto to Las Vegas: Two hour delay on the ground while they repair the A/C. Held on plane with seat belts on. Ran out of food on the flight. Back half of plane lived on snacks. Over 300 passengers sitting on what can best be described as a park bench. AT LEAST OPEN THE BAR!
Come on! How about a bit of empathy for the paying customer? I’m not an animal….I’m a man!”
Competition means quality
Bad service and fees are a direct response to a lack of competition. In the U.S. there are plenty of choices when it comes to air travel. In Canada our choices… well… are limited.
The folks offering airline service are drinking their own Kool-Aid, so to speak, when they tell us how great they are. Fact is, they have a serious lack of humanity and empathy. The only reason they are successful is the lack of competition.
Not true in our industry, is it? Those of us in for the long haul know what it takes to get a client to walk through the front door, let alone keep them coming back. I have often quoted this astonishing fact: 70 percent of your new business will originate with your current clientele. Bearing this figure in mind, how do we get that other 30 percent to come in?
Overcrowding on the Internet
As you know, I’m in media. Radio to be exact. We get pushback from sales managers telling us that the way to go is digital. However, that might have been more the right answer five years ago. The Web is overcrowded and, quite frankly, not as successful an ad tool as you might think. Even the biggest players have turned to traditional advertising (TV, radio, print) to drive the business to their sites.
So what’s the answer? Fact is, there is none. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all so jammed with junk, your message would have a hard time getting through.
Bottom line: Work with the 70 percent you have. Offer the personal service, the free loaner, the pick up and drop off. Remember this fact too—that independents are still better received in the repair industry than any of our competition.
We must be doing something right!