If you’re in business you’re probably familiar with this line about the salesman and the Eskimo: “He’s such a good salesman he could sell an air conditioner to an Eskimo.” Without a doubt, you would have to be an extraordinary salesperson to do that, but you couldn’t expect to get any repeat business much less build a relationship with the customer. In this example, the transaction is shortsighted: It sacrifices the customer relationship for the sake of the sale.
Your Customers Are Assets
At OxBlue we take a longer view, where building enduring – or lifetime – business relationships with our clients is just as important as selling construction cameras. In my blog post “3 Essentials to a Customer-Oriented Culture,” I talked about creating value for customers not only by offering a useful product but by also providing service and support that enables customers to use your product to their fullest advantage.
The lifetime perspective takes the notion of value a step further and focuses it squarely on the customer. It’s about recognizing and honoring the customer’s intrinsic, organic value to your business – a value that can’t always be directly measured in dollars. When you see your customers as some of your greatest assets, it makes sense to invest in them by adopting a lifetime perspective.
Adopting a Lifetime Perspective
There are two essential ingredients to this perspective: duration and continuity. We try to build these into everything we do at OxBlue, from the quality of our construction cameras and technology to the delivery of our services. The practices that probably most vividly depict our long-term perspective include these:
- Your warranty represents your approach: We provide a lifetime warranty because when we sell a camera to a client we are not thinking only in terms of their current project; we’re thinking about building and maintaining that relationship for years to come.
- Long-term reliability and performance: We regularly recondition and upgrade cameras for clients at no charge between projects. As part of our lifetime customer perspective, this is critical in creating a great experience for clients year after year.
- Thinking like an investor: Our technology is always evolving, and a client who invests in an OxBlue system should be able to benefit from that. That’s why we’ve made new releases of features and even major enhancements available to all of our clients for free.
- Going beyond the status quo: Our Client Support team is behind-the-scenes proactively monitoring the performance of all cameras, handling the logistics for clients, and working to create an exceptional experience for them. It costs more to do but aligns with investing in our clients’ success.
- Connections are with people: Every client – whether they own one OxBlue system or many – has a dedicated account manager and support person as well as access to the entire Client Support team. Having someone who knows the ins and outs of each client’s needs is essential for providing exceptional service and managing everything the way the client wants it done.
The Ultimate Benefits of the Lifetime Approach
You’ll notice that these practices are more than “just” robust customer services. They’re all informed by the lifetime perspective: Each speaks to and supports both an enduring business relationship and continuity of the customer experience.
Because of this, our clients work with us, project after project. Many go on to purchase more cameras to use on multiple, overlapping projects. What’s more, so many of them send new customers our way. These satisfied clients are better salespeople than we, and even the proverbial arctic air conditioner salesman, could ever be. It’s a reward we reap for recognizing that each and every client is a valued asset to us and for investing in them accordingly.