11 January 2009

Customer Measurement

Everyone has good clients and bad clients. And, everyone I know, determines the value of their clients differently.

I'm not 100% sure that there is a completely right way or wrong way of measuring their value, some ways need to be weighted on more than others and there are many formulas that companies employ - as in anything, there's more than one way to skin a cat (sorry PETA).

There are so many variables in measuring the worth of a customer that it's easy to get hung up on just one of them, like how much money they spend for instance. Just because a client provides you with large sales numbers does not mean they are good for your business, nor does it mean they are a good customer.

It's important for us to know what makes a good customer, because everyone is a customer. As a business owner, I have a lot of customers, but I am also a customer to the many vendors we do business with. Understanding what I like to see in a good customer helps me be a better customer to my vendors.

For me, a good relationship with vendors is important. Being a good customer to my vendors ensures that I get product on time, provides with with fast service and accountability - this means that I can rely on my suppliers. The flip side of this, of course, is that my clients benefit from me being a good customer to my vendors. My clients are often on the receiving end of reduced pricing, fast and reliable delivery of goods and know that they can count on us.

The ability to count on us is a direct result of us being good customers to our vendors.

With that being said, I've compiled a list of things that businesses look for in customers - in no particular order, good customers:

• Value what you bring to the table
• Appreciate your time
• Want you to succeed
• Recommend you to others
• Pay bills on time
• Don't rely on status quo
• Listen to advice
• Work close
• Share information
• Make introductions
• Provide honest feedback
• Help you grow
• Know all that you have to offer
• Want you to be profitable
• Acknowledge failures and successes

I'm sure you can add a few more items to this list. The bottom line is... it's more than just the bottom line - sure, money matters, but not at the expense of a few ideals and profit. For a company to succeed, they must make a profit - customers that drain your resources and suck the profits out of jobs are not worth working for.

So, figure out what's important to you as a vendor or a customer and eliminate the companies that don't measure up. Work closely with the companies that do and see the rewards.


Anonymous Kali Readwin said...

This is an excellent post, worth sharing. I like that you are selective in choosing your clients. As a customer, it means that you are dedicated to providing quality service (not quantity service).

2/04/2009 12:36:00 PM  

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