You may recall from a previous blog that my company set for 2017 its most aggressive target ever: $100 Million. Not a SALES goal, mind you, but a CUSTOMER SAVINGS goal.
By focusing on our customers’ success more than our own, the good karma would strengthen customer loyalty and increase business more than fancy advertising and pushy sales tactics ever could.
Eleven months ago the goal seemed impossible. For starters, we’d have to deliver to our customers an ROI that even the world’s greatest gambler could never imagine: 10X. Give KCF $1 today and by year’s end you’ll get $10 in return. In addition, we’d have to persuade our customers to share cost metrics that are often confidential. Oh, and one other barrier: We had nowhere near enough customers or revenue to reach a 10X ROI of $100 Million. Somehow, someway, we’d have to more than triple sales to have a shot at making it.
The last ten months have been fun but no picnic. Major culture shift in how we interact with our customers. Chasing down customer metrics that would typically be none of our business. Shifting hiring criteria to align with a services-oriented approach. The result?
On the day I’m writing this, November 11, 2017, our customers’ cup runneth over. $100 Million in proven savings and rising fast. Wow.
Paper mills reducing downtime. Auto plants catching machine failures that’ve plagued them for decades. Oil & Gas fleets running more cleanly and safely. Chemical manufacturers optimizing their production process.
Since January our commercial customers have flooded us with more accolades, thank you cards, and sales orders than in the previous sixteen years combined. And in honor of Veterans Day, one more tidbit: Nearly every penny of that $100 Million came from American facilities. The takeaway for America: Give us a smart factory, strong leadership, and open-minded workers and we’ll dance circles around the old school, penny pinching, tax evading sweat shop trying to win on price.
How will we celebrate? On Thursday December 7th we’re angling for a party that includes fireworks and a marching band. This is Happy Valley after all!
Among those on the invitation list:
- Our customers (of course)
- Our employees and their families
- Our company founders
- Our government agency, military, and SBIR partners
- Our suppliers
- Our friends
- Our community leaders
- Our local fire department (if they’ll let us shoot off fireworks)
This Thanksgiving, my gratitude extends to the KCF Tech colleagues and customers who’ve proven what a cutting-edge Internet of Things strategy can do to awaken and revitalize American industry. $100 Million may not be enough to move the needle on our nation’s GDP but it’s enough to indicate we’re on the right path.
How would your business grow if you fretted less over your own sales goals and more on your customers’ ROI? If you begged your customers to teach you more about their pain points so you can figure out how to eliminate them? Zig Ziglar said it best, “You can get anything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want.”
What do your customers want? A better ROI? Recognition? A promotion? A safer work environment? Insight into how to do their jobs better?
Unlock that secret desire and watch the fireworks fly.
Speaking of fireworks, if you’d like to join our festivities on Thursday, December 7th at 4:00pm in State College, PA please drop me a line!