The “A” Factor
The “A” Factor
You may have heard of the X Factor, a long running British TV singing competition created by record producer Simon Cowell. The show is the biggest TV talent competition in Europe and the US and has spawned spinoffs and copycats the world over.
What then is the “X” factor? It has come to refer to that indefinable “something” that makes for star quality.
The “A Factor” is, also, that special something that sets you and your company apart from others. With the X factor, one may not readily be able to pinpoint what makes that person, product or service so exceptional but with the A Factor, the reason is apparent – it’s called APPRECIATION! Successful companies, whether product or service based, don’t view client appreciation as a once-a-year activity. It has become a way of life, woven into their daily operations and embedded in long-term planning. It’s essential for keeping current clients happy and developing a steady stream of referrals.
Everyone wants to feel valued–especially when people are making tough choices regarding their wallets. It’s important not to take customers’ patronage and support for granted. Regularly communicating that you care about your customers’ success strengthens your connection to them–and differentiates you from competitors, giving you the “A” Factor.
As a business owner or manager, the following tips are among several that will keep your “A” game huge with clients throughout the year. Whatever you do though, be sincere. Customers can spot hype a mile away:
Say Thank You – Mothers teach their children three very important words when growing up – please and thank you. It may seem quite fundamental but a simple thank you can mean so much and go a long way in expression of appreciation for work tendered. Remember to use it generously in your business and personal communications, both verbal and written.
Put Them First – Ask customers what’s on their minds regularly. On the X Factor, the judges critique the contestants in order to help them improve their performances. Listen to what your customers are saying when they give you feedback with the aim of adapting your product or service to better meet their needs.
Avoid the Christmas Crunch – Most companies usually show customer appreciation at the end of the year around Christmas and Hanukah. Stand out from the crowd and do the unexpected! You don’t have to wait for a holiday to reach out to clients. Find an excuse to send a card, a small token gift or make a surprise phone call.
Have you ever heard the adage, “If you don’t take care of your customers, somebody else will?” Customers are people who simply want to be appreciated. Show them you care all year long and you’re more likely to win their hearts . . . and their business.