Golf and Hot Dogs

How would you like improved service from your vendors? How would you like your customers to be happier with your service? Try this…
Lots of businesses are now holding “Customer Appreciation Days” or “Vendor Open House” events. Some companies invite key customers and vendors to their Christmas parties. Many have barbecue lunches or golf days. That’s nice. It builds rapport and fosters relationships but doesn’t do much for business. Might as well keep it up. Most people enjoy those things and they build good will.
But if you want to do something good for business, arrange a day with your customer, at his business to see where your part fits into his process. This gives you a chance to see what your customer is dealing with and how you—if you’re smart—can improve your service to your customer.
Invite your customer to your business and let him see how your business operates. I say “customer” because this should be a one-to-one event with one key customer at a time. Ask for suggestions for improvements. Don’t make it a tour of “look how great we are” but rather make it “we’d like your input about how we can do things better for you”.
This will do a lot more for your bottom line than a day drinking on the golf course or serving a hot dog cooked up in the parking lot on the rusty company Weber.
Shameless promotion: If you want some expert help planning and arranging this sort of exchange, I can help. It shouldn’t be a one-time event—think of it as a process.
Chris Reich
Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog