Think about your ideal customer, what makes them an “A Class” customer? It is probably because they appreciate the value you offer and are prepared to pay a little more for the excellent service.
They are likely to be fun to work with, your team members pick up on this and go out of their way to help the customer whenever they are in contact with the business.
“A Class” customers are almost “rusted on” and actively refer other customers.
Because they are so loyal, it does not make sense to spend time, money, and energy in futile attempts to persuade “A Class” customers, who are similarly “rusted on” to competitor’s businesses, to move.
So where do you find new “A Class” customers?
It is not hard. All you need to do is to scratch the surface a little.
It helps also if you have an understanding of the competitive forces at play within your industry; so I am going to take a moment to examine these forces. They are the same across all industries.
By definition small businesses operate in fragmented industries. Fragmented industries may have a small number of larger businesses, but the majority of the market is divided between hundreds, and possibly thousands of smaller businesses.
Competition is fierce, most of the enterprises operate at a frantic pace with business owners having responsibility for several functions within the business. Employees move freely within the industry and because of relatively low barriers to entry new enterprises consistently enter the market attempting to win market share with ridiculously low pricing.
What has this got to do with winning new “A Class” customers?
Plenty, read on.
Managing a business operating in a fragmented industry is the hardest job there is, bar none:
- Your family’s lifestyle is dependent upon the success of the business,
- You operate in a red hot competitive market with low (ish) margins,
- Your employees require constant attention,
- You take on every job imaginable,
- There is little time to prepare operational systems so mistakes happen,
- Administration tasks grow out of nowhere,
- The demands upon your time are enormous
And in addition to your health, one of the things most adversely affected by this chaos are customer service standards.
As a general rule, customer service standards in fragmented industries are somewhere between below average and awful.
Appropriate attention is paid to “A Class” customers of the business, but the majority of customers receive less care than they are entitled to. Hence there is movement by customers between businesses, frazzled business owners pass this off as being a normal part of industry competition, and point to the price sensitivity of customers.
WRONG. VERY WRONG. PEOPLE MOVE FROM BUSINESS TO BUSINESS NOT BECAUSE OF PRICE BUT BECAUSE OF POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE STANDARDS.
So if you want to win new “A Class” customers, scratch below the surface of firstly your own business, and then your competitors business, and look for potential “A Class” customers who are looking for a higher level of service.
Give them your time, make sure they pay for the value you provide, and they will become “rusted on.”
Enrol in the free sales and marketing course available on this site to learn how Facebook and Google have made it so much easier to find and communicate with these potential “A Class” customers.