Join Jill Griffin for an in-depth discussion in this video Retaining means delighting, part of Building Customer Loyalty.
- Through the decades bio research has consistently shown the probability of successfully selling again to an active customer is 60-70 percent. Far above the 5-20 percent probability of making a sale to a brand new prospect. One of my all time business heroes is Bruce Woolpert who is co-CEO with his brother of Granite Rock. Located in Northern California, Granite Rock Quarries granite and was founded by family members 12 decades ago.
Granite Rock's most valuable customers are cities, counties, and contractors who use the rock to build and repair roads. A few interesting facts about Bruce. He graduated first in his MBA class at Stanford Business School and before coming back to run Granite Rock he ran the early software division of Hewlett Packard. So Bruce has got it going on. Granite Rock wins business through requests for proposals and competes with other firms selling concrete and gravel.
Today clients pay, on average, six percent more to work with Granite Rock than they would be charged by the competition. Now how can Granite Rock command that margin? Here's how. A number of years ago, Bruce and his management team began to realize that their clients has unspoken needs. Granite Rock was focusing on the quality of the concrete and making it the best in the world, which it was, but in thinking more deeply about their customers, Granite Rock identified a huge opportunity, getting concrete to job sites on time.
So Granite Rock changed. Under Bruce's leadership, quality concrete continued, but on-time quality delivery became the number one priority. This is where the story gets really exciting. The company developed a new system called granite express and bench marked with none other than Wells Fargo. The system loaded trucks like an ATM. The truck driver simply swiped an authorization card resembling a credit card and pulled the truck in and a machine loaded the truck automatically.
It was available 24/7. The result? The driver loading process went from 24 minutes to seven minutes and in California, trucking minutes is costly, so there's a huge value to cities, counties, and contractors buying from Granite Rock. The result of adding this incredible value, market share doubled and Granite Rock earned six percent higher margins than competitors. As Bruce shared, "We didn't do it by cutting prices, "not by stealing our competitors' salespeople "or any of those kinds of things.
"We did it by changing ourselves." Here's the bottom line I'd like you to take away. Delivering an anticipated value is the secret to retaining best customers. Think about your best customers and ask yourself these questions. What are their unsolved problems? What are their headaches? What's keeping them up at night? How can your product or service help address these issues? Asking yourself these questions can begin to help you transform your business into a real loyalty making machine.