"Teeing" Up For Your Long Game
By Earl Clevenstine, Senior Vice President & Commercial Loan Officer
Recently, a colleague of mine was grilling me on how to build customers for life. It really got me thinking about the importance of a loyal following and the value of the goodwill it generates. Sometimes it's easier for me to remember things through key-word associations, so I set out to put together a list that might answer the question; and, since I love the game of golf I decided to "T" it up with what has worked for me over the years.
BUILDING CUSTOMERS FOR LIFE:
- TEAM – start by aligning yourself with a responsive, high performing team - people that are not only knowledgeable, but also caring and reliable. This enables you to count on one another and work together on behalf of customers. In turn, they know they're a priority, appreciate the great service that lets them get back to running their business, and customer satisfaction begins.
- TRUST – build on customer satisfaction and transform it into relationship. Trust stems from another "T" word (truth) by keeping promises, consistently following through, and having honest conversations in all situations. Do this and you will enjoy the trust factor which is one of the key reasons customers cite for referring other businesses your way. Trust worthiness nurtures relationships and strengthens reputations. It also increases both your book of business and career fulfillment.
- TAILOR – create solutions that fit the customer's unique circumstances. No two businesses are the same and neither are their challenges and opportunities. Listen attentively, process thoroughly, and move forward creatively to provide customization that is a win for the customer and your company, too. Combined with team and trust, tailoring (hard to find these days) seals the deal for building customer loyalty.
- TREASURE – value the right things. There is nothing like the satisfaction of doing well by doing good. Being a piece of the success puzzle is extremely rewarding and acts as a deep motivator for hard work and dedication. When your sincere desire is to make a difference, it is apparent AND rewarded - success breeds success for all the right reasons. Customers see it, feel it, and are attracted to it.
- THANKFULNESS – be thankful for the team that helped you along the way, the mutual trust and relationships you have built, the ability to work for a company that encourages customer focus and creativity, the success you have been a part of, and doing life's work that you are passionate about.
- THEN – you will have customers for life and a tremendously enriched career "Long Game."