“When they think of the word “courtship” most people think of love, personal relationships, and marriage. However, the concept of courtship is critically important for businesses of all sizes. You already know how important it is to attract and retain both key personnel and customers, and, if you are wise, you spend a good deal of time and money to do so through marketing, profiling, recruiting, etc. These are the same activities that are so important in building and maintaining personal relationships and are all part of the process we call courtship. To be successful, courtship must be both constant and consistent. Courtship consists of four parts, each of which must be repeated throughout your relationship:
This consists of everything from market research, to constantly striving to better understand your customer’s current and future needs, desires, and concerns, so that you can meet them.
Don’t get love confused with ‘being in love’. While being in love is a reaction to your experience with someone and involves massive shifts and a loss of ability to think rationally, love is the choice you make to communicate by your words and actions that you value someone; that their needs, interests, concerns, desires, etc., are important to you. You build customer loyalty by providing them not only with quality products at a reasonable price, but by the way you serve them. Think Ritz Carlton service. Consider the many things you do and say to communicate to family, friends, and employees that you value them and they are an important part of your life.
Commitment to your relationship:
In marriage or friendship, you communicate this kind of commitment by words and actions. Demonstrate your willingness to work through any conflicts that arise, to your mutual satisfaction. You do the same with customers and employees.
Commitment to continuously improve your relationship:
While this commitment is incredibly important, it is also the one most often neglected. Customers, friends, family, (and even you) constantly grow and change – and so do their needs. If you want your relationship with a customer (or anyone else) to constantly improve, to grow deeper and stronger, you must continuously grow and work to improve the (hopefully) already strong relationship.
Whether customer, employee, spouse, child, or friend, everyone needs to be courted and every relationship begins to die when the courtship ends. For too many entrepreneurs, this occurs after the first few purchases of a customer or shortly after a new employee reports to work.
Constantly and consistently court your customers and you will build life-long, profitable relationships. After all, everyone knows that it costs at least ten times as much to attract a new customer as it does to hold on to an existing one. For questions or more information on coaching services, or to receive a longer article on the subject of courting and your business, you can contact Dr. Gretz at www.gretzconsultinggroup.com.”