As promised, my plan for the month of July is to celebrate our customers. This month’s blog posts are all about reiterating the reasons why your relationships with your customers are integral to the success of your business.
Au Chateau Home for the Aged
In 2013, Sheri Tomchick (our Founder) and I had the pleasure of meeting with Diane Laliberté-Rainville from Au Chateau Home for the Aged. This Long Term Care Home, situated in Sturgeon Falls, contacted us with regards to our sister company’s services. We went in and fell in love with their staff, their residents and the atmosphere in general! It’s the kind of place where the happy nature of the administrative staff permeates throughout. When the home’s Administrator (Jacques Dupuis) throws on an apron at their staff appreciation bbq and serves up the food with a smile and hearty laughter, you know you’re in a good place!
We’ve had the pleasure of working with Au Chateau and their staff since that time. Back in the day when StaffStat was only being used as a trade secret and not yet on the market, Carole Racine, the full-time scheduler from the home was one of the first to say; You need to sell this to Long Term Care! Our decision to offer our service to the market was in large part due to Plan A clients (Long Term Care homes across Northern Ontario). Their feedback, their support and their enthusiasm for what we were doing was an added boost to what we already felt was a great product.
I say this often but one should never downplay the power of the customer. Point in case: Au Chateau! Since coming on board with StaffStat, they spread the word about the impact and efficiency of our software. When we attended our most recent conference, we could hear them praising our customer service and the product itself. They physically brought people to our booth for demos. It was our first outing at this particular conference and while we pride ourselves on putting together a booth with ‘buzz’, the Au Chateau team amplified our message.
When you build a solid relationship with a customer it’s easier to ask for a reference, a testimonial, or general input with regards to an upcoming enhancement. The important thing to keep in mind is that there always needs to be a balance. If a customer does something great like refer your services, offer a referral reward program. If you hear that they’re speaking favorably about your product or service, send them a thank you card. If you have the opportunity to sponsor an event or provide a prize for a customer’s golf tournament, do it! The rewards you reap from treating your customer as a partner, the further ahead you’re sure to get. Despite social media’s power, word of mouth will always be the best marketing tool, especially when growing organically.
Because of the rapport we’ve developed with this home, they’re open, direct and honest about potential ways to enhance our services. We’ve benefitted from their feedback and we know that this two way street is necessary for effective customer retention and growth.
Getting to know our customers has been one of my favorite parts of this journey. We connect with our customers regularly and have built some solid relationships. When we visit Au Chateau, we get hugs not handshakes and we wouldn’t have it any other way!