Six months ago, a group of very smart economists and mathematicians proclaimed that the Great Recession was over. Well, maybe, but it didn’t feel like it at the time. Today is a different story. I’m hearing from some integrators that business is picking up, new inquiries are coming in more regularly, and that customers seem ready to spend (more so than they did 6-12 months ago.)
So I thought it was great timing that this piece from the Entrepreneurial Tightrope column in USA Today addresses the need to define customer service. I particularly liked her question: Are the customers you have today the same ones you had two years ago?
So as business activity heats up, let’s remember the value of long-time clients. Yes, even the long-time clients who pulled back or stopped spending last year. AV is a relationship business. I know that the technology often overshadows all, but the reality is that none of our businesses would survive (or thrive) without the relationships we forge. Let’s try to remember that as we dive into the flood ofRFPs, bids, and other proposals on the horizon.
Better yet, reach out to a customer who pulled back their spending last year. Give a friendly call just to see how they are. Remind them that you are still in business and that you are here for them no matter what or when. Think of it as a customer service call; not a sales call. As I said in a previous rAVe HomeAV column about customer service: “There is no secret recipe to providing the “right” amount of customer service because it all depends on your customers. But you do have to listen to them and be responsive in order to figure out where the proper level lies.”