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Every time someone walks through the door of your business (or interacts with one of your team members) you have the opportunity to convert them into a loyal customer, and sometimes a raving fan.

(My definition of a loyal customer is someone who chooses your company over and over again. Another way of saying it is a regular repeat customer.)

Why is it so important to think this way?

Well if you are not seizing the opportunity to convert people who cross your path into loyal customers, not only will be missing business but you may actually be repelling it!

I had a “repelling” experience last week when I took my cat (Jack) in to a local vet clinic to be neutered (being a responsible pet owner!).

My main vet is a holistic vet and isn’t set up to do surgeries. So I called a local clinic where I know one of the technicians.

My first repelling moment came when I called the clinic to set up an appointment. The receptionist asked me for a current rabies certificate.

I replied that my cat had just been vaccinated and at which clinic.

The receptionist’s response was “You need to produce the certificate or we will vaccinate him again” Now I am particularly sensitive here because I am cautious of over-vaccination however it was her almost militant approach that made me go hmmm.

So I called my regular vet and they faxed over a certificate and all is good.

Except that was strike one, and I if I didn’t know someone who worked there I probably would have said no thank you, canceled the appointment and gone somewhere else.

Instead I checked Jack in the morning of his surgery (poor little guy!).

Normal protocol – the receptionist (same person) went through what was going to happen, when Jack could be picked up and then gave me a release form to sign.

And this is when strike two happened. After the disclaimer I was handed a second sheet with their upsell offers.

However the upsells were couched in terms that sounded like they were necessary for the health of the animal.

Now I know I am looking at this upsell sheet with a prejudiced eye both as a coach specializing in creating ON Brand customer experiences and from being on the other side of the counter of a vet clinic (I worked as a vet tech many many years ago).

One upsell offer was a complete bloodwork analysis which although not necessary at this stage or for this surgery is good information.

The second was for intravenous fluid to help Jack recover from the anesthetic at grossly inflated prices. It was the second upsell that for me was strike two.

I know that intravenous fluid is not necessary or even recommended for such a minor surgery AND YET I’m standing looking at this paper feeling as if I am a bad pet owner for not choosing the option.

This is an upsell that takes advantage of the customer rather than creating greater value.

Strike three was when I paid the bill. It was expensive (not surprising by this point!) however the error was the price should have been part of the disclaimer notice signed at the beginning – minor issue but a strike three on top of the first two strikes.

The moral of this story is – treat each customer as a possible loyal customer not just a transaction.

The staff and upsell process at the vet clinic were all set up for transactions rather than creating customer relationships and repeat business.

Huge mistake!

They were trying to maximize the amount of money generated from one procedure and completely missed the lifetime value potential.

How much profit is walking out the door whenever someone leaves without being converted into a regular customer?

Take a look at your business – at each point of customer interaction are you increasing the bond and relationship? Building perceived value and long term benefit? Or are you repelling and pushing your customers away?


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