Let me begin with a caveat: There are in reality myriad keys but given the limits of this article, I’ll only present three.
Who’s the boss? In every business, the boss is the Customer. Let’s face it, he/she is the one who writes us cheques, pays our bills and allows our business to grow. Without customers... we have no business. We not only need to please the boss, we need to exceed the boss’ expectations. In other words, we need to give more than we take. “Cost” is what a customer pays; “Value” is what a customer gets. We need to focus on what we give.
Here are three ways we can increase our service’s value in the context of a Joomla web business:
1. Offer ideas / solutions.
By offering ideas and solutions to a client’s business, we show we care and we become an esteemed “partner”.
The trick is to take some time to understand his/her business goals and needs.
How can we help them gain sales? How can we make their life easier? How can we make their customers’ lives easier?
Example: One of my clients is a sizeable firefighter’s association with numerous members. By offering to integrate a forum on their website, the membership can communicate and exchange information regularly, easily and efficiently.
2. Create and nurture relationships with your clients
Business can become impersonal and can easily be reduced to a series of transactions. We’ve all experienced this “do-the-minimum” attitude when we ourselves have purchased a service or product.
We can become outstanding by following-up, responding promptly to clients’ emails and requests and by frequently checking in with them. This enables us to become much more than their “web designer/developer”.
Example: One of my clients runs a specialty wine business. I recently sent him an article from a similar business I thought would be beneficial to him. Simple.
3. Say YES!
We all have clients who eventually ask us to do something for which we have little or no experience. Fear can easily cause us to say “sorry, I can’t help you with this”. With few exceptions, we can usually provide a solution although we may not yet know the answer or have the knowledge. Before saying “No”, let’s consider saying “YES!” We take on the challenge; do what it takes to be a true “solution provider”. Clients love solution providers. If we really can’t tackle the task, we can add value and help the client by referring someone who can. This still makes you part of the solution.
Example: Years ago the only CMS I was familiar with was Joomla. Along came a prospective client who needed help modifying to a Wordpress site. A bit of Wordpress research revealed many similarities between the two. I took on the project and gained a happy client.
Give more than you take. It’s not only an axiom for a successful web business, it’s also a foundation to personal success.