There was a great question on AccountingWEB about customers that don't get their stuff in on time. I posted a comment about the relationship thing. Basically I said 'Sack 'em cos you don't have a relationship, and neither do they - with themselves.' And it's unprofitable.
A person who added to the discussion said (paraphrased):
"In reality there are not many brave souls out there who would sack their clients for sending books late."
That's stupid, crazy, doesn't make sense. Why on earth would you want to work with customers like that? Surely, you'd want rid of them 'cos even if you do a surcharge, they'll still be a pain in the butt. But hey...maybe I'm wrong.
Maybe you should be creating great conversations between your people and the best customer groups. That'll start a convo about how great you are. And then maybe, just maybe, when the dross hear about how great you are, they'll want to be part of the conversation. Does it work? Here's a tale for you to chew on:
I picked up a customer following a civil law suit. The guy was losing and we had every intention of nailing the guy cold. As I left the meeting, the loser came up and tapped me for advice. That client turned into one of the best I ever had. After he'd coughed up to my other customer. During the years he was with us I learned about:
- Offshore tax (basics anyway)
- Overseas investments
- Filing US tax returns and
- What it takes to run a successful music publishing business.
Some years into the relationship, he bought a nursing home - on the back of conversations we were having about his next potential investment. I had a great nursing home operator as a customer at the time. What's that about...conversations of course.
So what's different today - it's wheels within wheels isn't it. Who you know and all that. Nope. You talk with clients don't you? About all sorts of things, mostly business stuff? Inject that into your blog efforts. I'm with the anarchic Hugh on this one. But you've got to be pretty brave to suck this up. And then pass it on to your customers.
I guarantee you'll make money. So will I.