How do you know when your customer's needs have changed? Do you know what's meaningful to them? What keeps them up at night? And when your products or services are changing, how do you let your customers know?
Not all customers leave suppliers because of price, product or options. Research tells us that many leave because they feel that the company doesn't understand them and what they really need.
68% leave because they believe the company doesn't care about them
14% leave because they are dissatisfied
9% leave because they are lured by a competitor
5% leave because they are influenced by friends
4% leave because they simply move away
How are you letting your customers - both internal and external - know that you care about them? When organizations are in flux, and that's just about everyone these days, knowing how others are changing is just as valuable as knowing what your team or organization are up to. Being blindsided by other people's changes stings. Don't let it happen to you.
I suggest that you look for every opportunity to build communication bridges. Bridges that allow information to flow to and from your customer in ways that keep you and them informed about shifts in either party's operations or requirements.
Speak to them. Listen to them. Call them on the phone. You remember - it's that small black devise on your desk that harnesses radio waves and allows you to actually have an old fashioned conversation. Use it. Call your customers and ask them how they are. Sound simple? Apparently this kind of communication is exactly what your customers are waiting for - a supplier that sees themselves as a partner. A supplier that has time for them. The kind of time it takes to pick up the phone and say - hey, what's changed?
If you want some help with the kinds of questions that can get to the shifting priorities and issues in a group, give me a shout. I've got some ideas that just might help.
My telephone number is 905-659-6683.