How Low Volume, Low-Value RFQs Can Help Your Machine Shop
One of a job shop’s greatest resources is its customers. You may have heard that for most places, 20% of your customers provide 80% of the work. Couple that with the difficulty and expense of getting new customers, and it becomes obvious that keeping your customers happy is important. But what’s the best way to keep them happy? One of the most powerful approaches is customer success.
What Is Customer Success?
Customer success is putting your customer’s needs first. This idea can manifest in different ways, like calling your customers to check-in and see if they need anything new from you or having regular meetings with them to learn their goals and how your shop can help them meet those goals. The heart of customer success is figuring out what your shop can do to help your customers, rather than waiting for your customers to contact you first.
How Is Customer Success Different from Customer Support?
The most significant difference between customer success and customer support is that customer success is proactive, and customer support is reactive. A shop following a customer support model waits for the customer to tell them there’s a problem. A shop following a customer success model reaches out to the customer to find out how things are going. If things are “good enough,” then a customer may not tell you there’s a problem, and you may not know until they stop sending you work.
There are many ways to reach out to your customers. You could call them, email them, send them a survey, or even talk to them in person. You may find that you use more than one method, depending on what your customers respond well to. Setting up regular communication lines between your shop and your customer makes it easier for them to tell you when there’s a problem, making it easier for you to fix it. If you’re waiting for your customer to call you about a problem, they’re probably already looking at other shops, but if you’re calling them and asking, you can find out about issues before they become bigger.
Building a relationship with your customers is a great way to keep them and get more work from them. Focusing on customer success builds relationships and solves problems. If there’s a problem with your shop, it’s always easier to solve those before they become a serious issue. If it’s a problem your customer has that you can help with, they’ll appreciate the assistance before their situation becomes unmanageable. Whatever you can help your customers with, you’ll never know until you ask.
Speaking of catching problems early, check and see if your shop is making any of these five common mistakes.