Baby, Come Back!
Recent experiences have somewhat shocked me with the alternative attitudes that companies, and people in companies, have with regard to customer/client retention, as compared to that which I expect of myself…
Experts in the field of sales and marketing develop strategies and best practices for businesses to keep the customer happy to come back for more. However, as with all good intentions, the method of this implementation rests solely on the company: to select the appropriate manner in which to make a difference and provide a long-term, friendly relationship with their clients.
Perhaps this is best illustrated with an example (story – since we all like stories!) And although mine comes from a web developer perspective I am sure that the same principles apply to other industries.
Chatting with a friend about their organisation and the events going on inside it, the conversation turned to their website and the fact that they were not able to make – what should have been – simple changes, to fix minor layout/text and links on pages. I was happy to help them and take a look under the hood (on the WordPress platform) to see what was going on. It was instantly clear from the outset that the developers had restricted them in the backend – and whilst there are definitely pros and cons to this, ultimately the resultant consequence was that my friend was not able to make any of the fairly standard changes that they wanted to.
Without the proper editor access, there was little anyone could do to accomplish the small goals they had, therefore I drafted a short message to the developers in order to make the amends so that everyone would be happy. What really frustrated me (mainly because I appreciate the ins and outs of the web construction world) was that the developer team responded by mentioning that it would incur further costs to do so… Needless to say, I was very put off by this response. One of the main reasons that development is made on WordPress is for the end-user to have the control and ability to make these edits.
After more questioning, I found out that the organisation had gone so far as to create a separate sub-par webpage, designed and hosted on another platform, in order so that they would have control over the content and management of it! [There was a link to it from the main website.]
“Missing you isn’t the problem… it’s knowing you’re not coming back that hurts…”
So what’s the take-away from the case?
Well, I know that I do not share the attitude of this web development team. I believe that in business just as in life, if you treat another party with respect and give to them a commendable service that makes them happy – you will develop something worthwhile that turns into a long-term relationship. At the end of the day the closed-minded perspective of needing to restrict the constructive ability of clients does not enhance a positive environment. Rather, by engaging with an amenable rapport will result in clients continually coming back for more. If you take care in your work, then clients do appreciate what you do for them!
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