Would you go out of your way to help a former client – possibly years after they’d bought from you?
Barbara had wanted a steam generator iron for years. We finally bought one three years ago and all was good in the world of ironing 🙂
But it recently broke. Well outside the 2 year warranty period.
Faced with the prospect of spending a few hundred dollars to replace it, I called Philips, explained the situation and was told to take it to a repair place where they’d evaluate it and charge Philips.
We got it back and sure enough, paid nothing.
And as you can imagine, we’re pretty happy and highly recommend them.
Do you do the same for your clients, current and past?
If not, rather than get into a moral debate about “doing the right thing”, here’s a purely commercial take on it.
If you go out of your way to help someone, especially when you have no legal obligation to do so, you’ll earn their gratitude and loyalty. Yes, this may well be intangible, but most people will remember and try to reciprocate.
Remember it costs 7 to 10 times more to acquire a new client than to keep selling to an existing one where you already have a relationship built on reputation and trust.
Going out of your way keeps your clients in the fold. It’s all about their lifetime value to your business.
Now, in case you’re worried about people taking advantage of you, relax.
Sure there may be the odd person. But in our experience, this almost never happens.
Way back in 2005 we convinced a client to offer a 110% money back guarantee on work. They screamed and bucked. Said their clients were very difficult and would take them to the cleaners.
After much head-butting we prevailed. To this day over 10 years later they’ve not had one person take them up on the guarantee. Their clients know that work will be fixed no matter who was at fault, love them and are loyal to a fault.
We regularly get calls from people from the past. Sometimes they’re simple queries that take a few minutes to resolve. Other times they’re more complex.
We’re generous with our time and knowledge. People appreciate it and often this leads to new projects or referrals. And yes, sometimes you will need to draw boundaries and that’s fine.
In business (and life), reputation is everything.
What would your clients say about you?