Learn From Your Clients

This blog originally published in Printing Impressions.

 

All customers are good, some are just better than the others. Or are they? As we approach the end of the year, it’s not a bad idea to take a good close look at your clients to see what you can learn, and ultimately help you to make better decisions.

 

Top revenue or top profit – which customer is best?

I’m not convinced that it’s that easy of a question. There are multiple factors that you should consider when evaluating your clients. These would include:

  • Are they profitable and a good contributor to your business?
  • How well do they pay and are they easy to work with?
  • Do you have a competitive advantage with this account?
  • How well is the customer’s industry doing, and how are they doing in comparison?
  • How well do your capabilities fit the current and future needs of the client? Are the utilizing the many different services that you can provide?
  • What can you learn from them and can they help you to get other clients like them?
  • Customer satisfaction and their loyalty
  • Customer satisfaction and their desire to recommend you to others

 

Your crystal ball

You constantly make decisions about your clients, how are they doing with you, and your ability to grow with them. One factor to consider is whether or not you think this account has growth potential or are there any red flags to be concerned about? There are never any guarantees but it’s important to have a handle on where you think your growth will be coming from.

 

Use this as a planning tool

The more that you know about the clients that you are successful with, and those that you are not, the better you’re able to make good decisions. You can make these better decisions on:

  • Your growth potential and the path you’ll take
  • Which clients that you may need to replace
  • What type of clients should your business development efforts be targeted towards and why
  • Any internal changes that will help you to capitalize on the business that you have, or the business that you want to win

 

What to do, next steps

Start with your top accounts sorted by revenue and profitability. You can then add the comments from the variables that I’ve listed above to each client and give each area a weighted score. Based on the information that you collect, you can then review the score for each client and have a good picture of where you are today. Phase two will be to develop the strategies that’ll get you to where you want to be tomorrow with each of them. Good luck, let me know how you’re doing, and have fun.

 

Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at mphilie@philiegroup.com.

 

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