Michael Gerber laid out one of the core functions of a business is its Client Fulfilment system:
“The Job” is one and only one thing: it is your Client Fulfillment System.Michael Gerber’s view
No matter what your product or service is, the delivery of that product or service will only be scalable to the degree you design, build, launch and grow your Client Fulfillment System, and then turnkey it.
Gerber rightfully argues that a business delights its customers, and he argues that that should be done consistently, systematically. You build a system. For example, you step back and ask what information would you like to know about a customer, and then you use that info systematically to later delight them. In the world of SaaS, that might look like creating email segments and mass-emailing people in those segments regularly.
In 2018, part of the foundational work at Bitesize Irish has been a discussion about what our client fulfilment system should be. The brainstorming went into a series of specific questions we’d love to know about the person who’s part of Bitesize (such as “Do you plan on visiting Ireland any time soon?”). Posed questions to ourselves including “if a member isn’t active any more, what should we do to help them? How long is inactive? Do you do this systematically, automatically?”
Gerber’s focus is on enabling growth. But as Peter Drucker said, a business does not need to continually get bigger, but it does need to get better.
The very tension in Gerber’s approach is that it’s systematised. It’s like a company sends me an email on my birthday because that would be personal, oh how nice of them.
I would posit that Seth Godin would agree on delighting the customer, and having a plan for how you’ll do that. I think his system would be rather simple, however:
- Get to know the person, what are their dreams and their fears? What is important for them?
- Sometimes get back in touch with them personally. Ask how they’re doing. (And it’s fine to keep notes to help you remember details about this person.)