Sylvia Henderson

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SL Column: Proactive Service

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 Go Pro: Proactive, That Is

     Routine preventive maintenance to your vehicle provides you longer lasting, more-dependable years of service from that vehicle. Waiting for the vehicle to have a problem before you service it reduces its useful life.

     If the only time you provide service to your clients is when they come to you, you are missing opportunities to extend the life and dependability, aka: loyalty, of your customer base. It is more expensive to gain new clients than to retain and service existing ones in terms of time, money, and energy.

     Your clients have many opportunities to shop for better prices and referrals in today’s value-driven, information-laden economy. Earn your clients’ loyalty and commitment by taking the initiative to add value for them.

  • Keep a database of your clients’ interests or business needs. Seek articles in publications and on the Internet and send those articles and links to your clients with a “thinking of you; thought this might interest you” note.
  • Know your business well enough to find ways in which you can give service and value to your clients where they have not yet been served.
  • Develop ways to save your clients’ time or money, or ways in which your business or services can help them grown their own. Educate clients rather than sell them on these additional opportunities.
  • Call clients periodically rather than rely on e-mail as your sole communications vehicle. Establish a contact schedule and discipline yourself to keep to the schedule.
  • Send a “thank you” card or note on off-holidays; times when the rest of the world is not sending holiday greetings.

     Be creative, informative, and most of all, helpful to your clients on a proactive basis. Your preventive maintenance schedule will yield long-term loyalty and commitment to you.

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