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Clients Like, Dislike, and Then Love You

Clients Like, Dislike, and Then Love You

In the relationship between a growing company and its clients, I’ve noticed an interesting pattern with my company, Skate The Foundry. It’s about how your original clients’ thoughts and feelings shift over time – moving from “liking” to “disliking,” and eventually to “loving.”

As a new company grows, your original clientele go through different stages of emotions. It starts with them being interested, then they might become less interested, and eventually, they become very loyal. These stages, I call them, “Like You,” “Dislike You,” and “Love You.” They show how the relationship between clients and the company changes and how both sides learn and change together. 

In this exploration, we’ll look at each stage to understand the small details that make up this special connection between clients and the company.

  1. Like You: At first, clients might be interested in your company because it’s new, different, or offers cool things. They’re curious about what your business can do for them.

    – For example, in my case, I started a skatepark where adults could skate anytime they wanted, 24/7.

  1. Dislike You: As the company gets bigger, there might be some problems, like changes in how things work, prices going up, operating hours are modified, etc. Some clients might not like these changes because they were used to how things were before.

    – In my case, I removed the 24/7 access and started focusing on more youth programs. However, I still offered memberships and never discouraged adults from coming to the skatepark. At that time, I was a few years away from my next BIG plan coming to fruition. I even told some adult skaters that what I was doing might seem like a step backwards for them, but I had something bigger in mind for everyone. I never forgot about them; I just needed to expand the company in various ways to offer a better overall service to everyone.

  1. Love You: As the company improves its operations, offers greater value to clients, enhances products and/or services, and maintains a positive relationship with previous clients, current clients, and potential clients, trust starts to build. Your original clientele become loyal because they see the company’s continuous improvement and the increased value it provides.

    – Finally, my efforts came to fruition. I expanded the skatepark, added a skate shop, attracted professional skaters to teach, and organized large-scale skate events that attracted industry sponsors nationwide. I also catered to the “core” adult skaters who loved the sport, addressing their needs and arranging events like the ones they enjoyed like years before, but with free stuff like gear, food, and drinks. Consequently, those who once disliked my company, now embraced my vision. They grasped the bigger picture I had always talked about. In addition to benefiting my new clients, my efforts uplifted the entire skate community, even transforming the perception of adult skaters who were previously skeptical of my approach. 

These stages show how clients’ feelings change as a company grows and changes.

Maintaining your company’s growth requires staying true to its values, ensuring that every action and decision is aligned with them. For instance, at Skate The Foundry, our values are centered on inspiring individuals to reach their potential, find purpose, and create a positive impact. We achieve this by fostering inclusivity, embracing diversity, taking on challenges, and nurturing meaningful connections.

Whenever we implement changes in our business operations, we make sure they align with all these aspects. Sometimes, clients might not immediately understand the reasons behind certain actions and might even feel upset, potentially leading them to leave temporarily. However, by consistently upholding our values, our company continues to expand, and these individuals eventually return to an even better environment that we’ve crafted.

Remember, clients may not grasp your 1-year, 3-year, or 5-year plan, but you hold the vision and commitment to make it a reality. And when your vision unfolds successfully, that’s when their loyalty deepens.


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