We discussed in a prior post the importance of having an identity as an organization in 1.5 “Our One Thing” If your leadership doesn’t know or hasn’t properly messaged the company’s identity to the troops, then your doomed to fail. The same thing goes for referenceability.
Reference-ability is one of those of unstated gems that most companies forget all about. They are happy to have won a deal but forget the ultimate end goal, which should be client satisfaction to the point you have enthusiastic referenceability. I’m often amazed at how this all-important aspect of business is lost in the process. There’s an exponential phenomenon that occurs when you have enthusiastic referenceability. You’ll not only have clients recommending you, but partners, and consultants as well.
I’m not talking about the type of client satisfaction stuff that goes along with surveys, or when the organization is more focused on getting a good review than providing great service. If you do a great job for the client, you won’t have to ask for a starred review. It will happen organically, and when it does, it becomes a viral type of experience. But always remember, you are only as good as your last deal and you only have one to time to make that first impression. Everything you do as an organization, matters. For whatever reason, organizations have given up on the idea of client satisfaction and referenceability, whether they realize it or not. Beyond that, some will garner an “us against the client” mentality. Of course, that’s nothing more than the beginning of the end. These same organizations don’t understand that the “client” determines satisfaction, not them.
Like most everything in business, commitment to ideals such as client referenceability starts at the top. Leaders need to continually reassess where they are in relation to client satisfaction and referenceability. There is no bigger priority for a business leader. If the task seems daunting or your organization has strayed too far off the tracks, I recommend starting small and work your way out. Start by treating your own team as you envision treating your finest client—they are your clients as well. In addition, doing this will breed a culture of happy employees. Happy employees who understand the underscored importance of client referenceability will naturally treat clients with the same consideration. Make enthusiastic referenceability a top priority and watch your business and reputation soar!