Beyond the Build

Customer Relationships

How Much Do You Wax The Floors?

I remember meeting with one of our retail clients a while back when an interesting question came up: “How much do you wax the floors?” Wax them too much and it’s a waste of money. Neglect waxing, and customers consciously or unconsciously stay away from a store that isn’t properly maintained. The key is finding a sweet spot. A balancing act, for sure.

This week, I got to thinking about this in regards to our customer relationships.  How much do you “touch” the customer or prospect? What is too much, and what is too little?

Every customer is different in their expectations. Some require a lot of hand-holding, while others wish to get an occasional written or verbal connection. Some prefer to be in communication with us only when they need a service. There are plenty of ways to stay on the customer’s radar without hovering. A few thoughts:

  • Often, we try to share information that is helpful, but doesn’t require a response. Depending on the customer, that may happen through this blog, by sending short notes in the mail or via our email newsletter. It keeps us connected, and customers can reply, only if they wish.
  • Before contacting individuals, I figure out what time and day of the week is best for each customer to be engaged. Some respond best in the early morning, others in the afternoon or evenings and some favor Saturday mornings.
  • If I wish to engage, I ask a question. If I wish to “touch,” I will make a comment to which no response is needed.

From our experience over the years, if you wax the floors too much or too little, it will impact the net.  The “just right” amount is when we have a quantity of business sufficient to cover our overhead and return a reasonable ROI, having a little fun along the way.

Our goal is to be best in class and interface with the customer as needed–but not too much. That might prompt them to walk to another service provider.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.