I’ve been buying chickens from one supplier for a couple of years now and I can proudly say I’m one of their best clients. However, I’ve noticed that my supplier is starting to slack. My chickens are not properly dressed most times or they are extremely small. This has made me consider changing suppliers but then again, I plan on having a word with them. You see, your best customers are those who keep coming back. Your business will not grow if you don’t retain customers. So, if you find yourself wondering why it’s easy for others to sell their produce or why your competitors manage to maintain client relationships, then you need to follow these two rules I’m about to give you today.
1. Deliver on time – Under-promise and over-deliver
Discipline is important if you want to thrive in any business. Nothing will kill your career and reputation faster than not delivering on time. If you tell me that your chickens will be ready in 4 weeks, ensure you deliver in 4 weeks. Don’t get excited by a big once-off order that will make you forget your promise. Otherwise, I’ll move to another supplier who will put me on their priority list. I have nothing to lose. You, on the other hand, would have lost a returning customer.
Yes, you want to offer prompt turnaround times to your clients to keep them happy but only do so if they’re realistic.
It’s much better to say that you’ll give your customers their produce on Thursday and then send it to them a day early, as opposed to giving an earlier date and pulling your hair out trying to deliver on time. I prefer my supplier dressing my chickens properly.
This is underpromising and over-delivering.
Proficiency and self-discipline are important traits for successful farming. To deliver on time, make sure you understand how much time you need to prepare your produce. From the time of day you start working, to the time it takes you to complete packing all your orders.
And work hard to build trust with your clients. If you do, your efforts will be rewarded, you’ll be able to retain clients and prolong the lifespan of your business.
2. Deliver the best quality by doing what you can
Don’t take on more than you can handle. Telling your customer that you can supply 300 dressed birds today when you only have two people to pluck is not sensible. If you feel your plate is already full, you can say no. Otherwise, you’ll skimp on quality. Before you agree to a project, check if you’ll be able to work on it and deliver quality. For instance, agreeing to supply a large number of seedlings in two weeks when you know it takes three weeks, is a risk that can make you lose a potential returning customer. Some do this to attract a customer, but what you’ll be doing is losing one.
Don’t get me wrong! I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take risks. What I’m saying is that the fewer projects you work on at once, the more attention you can give that project. If you have the resources and manpower required to deliver, then go ahead and take the risk.
It is better to supply higher quality products because this will lead to customer retention.
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