Do You Know Your Clients? No Really...Do You?

Posted by David Chism | Sat, Dec 11, 2010

My Bank After research­ing some options in my area, I’ve set­tled on a local and well-known bank called PNC. I love their mar­ket­ing, their iPhone App, their web­site and, for the most part, their peo­ple. That said, I do have one axe to grind this after­noon about PNC which relates to mar­ket­ing. By the way, Fri­days are my days to rant and rave a bit, so thanks for bear­ing with me. Wel­come to PNC I go to PNC week­ly to do my per­son­al and busi­ness bank­ing; it’s very con­ve­nient as I have three branch­es to choose from with­in 10 min­utes of my house. Each week I go to whichev­er of them fits most con­ve­nient­ly with my oth­er errands. After so many reg­u­lar vis­its to two of these branch­es in par­tic­u­lar, I feel like I know the staff very well. I see the same tellers each week and I remem­ber details from con­ver­sa­tions I’ve had with most of them. To them, how­ev­er, I might as well be a com­plete stranger. Just the oth­er day I walked into a branch that I hadn’t been to in a lit­tle while, and the teller I felt I knew best greet­ed me as if I were a new client. I’ve nev­er been greet­ed by my first name, ever, at my bank. I always get the stan­dard, Hel­lo, wel­come to PNC.” I’m a cus­tomer — and a good one! I do every­thing with these guys! When I first joined, PNC was atten­tive and eager. They couldn’t serve me enough, offer­ing per­son­al and busi­ness bank­ing, deb­it and cred­it cards, and col­lege funds for my kids! Once they signed me up, I slow­ly just became a num­ber. Their tellers and staff are excel­lent, and their ser­vice is still friend­ly, but it feels emp­ty or stale, like a record­ing: Thank you for choos­ing PNC!” The friend­li­ness” almost seems fake. I keep ask­ing myself, do they real­ly know me? Maybe they need a quick course from Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influ­ence Peo­ple!” Com­pare this to a tes­ti­mo­ni­al I heard recent­ly: I moved to a new state a few months ago and opened an account at the near­est bank. I was pleased with the ser­vice at the time, but had no rea­son to return to the bank for two or three months. The next time I came in, the teller greet­ed me warm­ly. She said, I’m sor­ry, I don’t remem­ber your name, but I know it starts with a P. How are your wife and kids — are they here with you? You all just moved to the area, right? Are you set­tling in ok?” And I had only been there once before! Caught Up in Busi­ness Systems Every busi­ness needs to have good busi­ness sys­tems. A well-orga­nized busi­ness will cre­ate an employ­ee hand­book, have good train­ing, and cre­ate sys­tems for every­thing they do: hir­ing, fir­ing, greet­ing cus­tomers, sell­ing jobs, clos­ing out jobs, and ongo­ing cus­tomer inter­ac­tion. But some­times busi­ness sys­tems can get in the way of being gen­uine. I believe a good busi­ness should be run with real peo­ple who love what they do and make the cus­tomer feel impor­tant. It is good mar­ket­ing. I’ll say it again: mar­ket­ing is every­thing a com­pa­ny does, good or bad. Peo­ple will remem­ber whether your mar­ket­ing” leaves them feel­ing good or not. So, do you know your clients? Do you have a plan in place for mak­ing your cus­tomer rela­tions into good mar­ket­ing?” A plan is always a good idea…but just make sure it becomes a part of who YOU and your STAFF are! Do you thank clients for their busi­ness? Do you send them notes and ran­dom gifts just because.” Do you greet them by their first name? Or do your cus­tomers feel like just a num­ber? If you don’t know…ask them! Not using a sur­vey. Get on the phone or knock on their door and find out! Hap­py Friday!

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.

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