Customers are the lifeblood of our business. Without their success and their repeated business, it is likely that our business isn’t going to succeed either. As dealers, we need to consider ways to help them succeed and then recognize their efforts.
First, we need to know our customers and understand their goals. Recognize what their individual production schedules look like and what their ultimate goals are. Do they sell their calves at weaning time? If so, you probably don’t need to push the VitaFerm® Gain Smart® product line to them. Do they compete with their horses or livestock? Then perhaps the Vita Charge® Paste or Vitalize® Equine Recovery Paste needs to be a staple in their show box. Customer success isn’t just about selling products; it’s about providing services and motivation to help them succeed.
Do you have a customer that is offering the same mineral program year after year because “that’s how granddad did it.”? If so, perhaps you need to suggest forage testing their hay and offering some alternatives to a more updated supplement program that will better fit their current operation. Maybe the customer didn’t know you offer forage testing and feed analysis. Once they discover the supplements they really need, they might even discover they are saving money over time. If you create an environment for your customer to succeed, they are more likely to succeed and become loyal customers.
But what happens when your customers find success? Congratulate them as soon as you can, and in person if possible. If you don’t think you will see them in the store or at their ranch for a few weeks, pick up the phone or drop them a hand-written note expressing your happiness for them. The fact that you noticed their achievements will go a long way in their customer satisfaction and your professional relationship with them.
Be sure to not only congratulate them, but to let others know about their achievements as well. Customer achievements can range from having a successful production sale to selling the Grand Champion Barrow at a recent livestock show to having a child get accepted to the college or university of his or her choice. Once you know of these success stories, start sharing them with others. There are several ways to share these stories.
Use a bulletin board in your store that allows you to “brag” on your customers. You can post newspaper clippings here. You can ask your customers to submit their photos and accomplishments to you to post on the bulletin board. People like to see what others in their community are doing, and it makes them feel good to be recognized for their successes.
Take that recognition to the next level. Perhaps you distribute a company newsletter or have a Facebook page. Share your customers’ achievements on these venues so more people see them, especially if they relate to success with your products. Producers will buy a product based on peer-success and not just because a sales person said it works (read more about this in Tell Everyone).
If you create an environment for your customers to succeed, and they succeed, they will likely become repeat customers. They will also tell others about their successes, and if you tell others about their successes, your business will continue to grow.