You’d never ignore your partner for months on end, betray their trust or refuse to take their problems seriously. Well, if you would, you’re in a disaster of a relationship…awkward.
Just like any personal relationship, the bonds you create with a client are vital and when you don’t pay close attention to them, the other party grows cold, disappointed and grumpy.
You may not actually have a divorce on your hands but the principal stands: relationships are important and require TLC constantly – so don’t be a neglectful Nancy!
It’s all too easy to put existing relationships on the back burner but, in fact, once a contact has been acquired, cultivating it should take priority over seeking new customers.
But how does tending to your customer relationships help your business grow? The answer is four-fold, my friend.
Nurturing increases revenue: What if we told you that looking after your customer relationships can boost your profit by 125%? We’re not lying, it really can.
Nurturing improves customer retention: Focusing your attention on customer retention rather than acquisition is key: According to Marketing Metrics, the probability of converting an existing customer is 60% to 70%. The probability of converting a new prospect, on the other hand, is only 5% to 20%. Plus, aside from being more inclined to purchase from you, repeat customers are also likely to spend more. Can you hear that till ringing?
Nurturing reduces sales and marketing costs: Did you know that it costs more to acquire new customers than retain the ones you already have? Now that got your attention didn’t it? Instead of ploughing countless pounds into new marketing and advertising, you can spend money elsewhere in other needy areas of the business.
Nurturing creates trust and loyalty: Taking care of your customers will not only reflect positively on your bank balance, but it will enhance the dynamic of your relationships.
Andrew Baines, preconstruction manager at building specialists Piggot & Whitfield commented: ‘It is useful to gain trust so that a client believes that you are capable of delivering your promise. It is about the value you create, not just cost.’
Customer Relationship First Aid Kit
How you can fix up your relationships sharpish.
Be empathetic: Walk in your customers’ or clients’ shoes and try to think about their perspective. Attuning yourself to their way of thinking can create real value and you’ll genuinely improve the quality of their customer experiences. If you understand your customer, you’ll be more than equipped to deliver exactly what they need.
Listen carefully: Empowered by the rise of the internet, customers are voicing their opinions, wishes and complaints for all the world to hear. Engage with them and listen to what they have to say; encouraging an open dialogue can work wonders. Create a dedicated channel on social media or open up a forum; brace yourself though, be prepared to hear the good, the bad and the ugly.
Reward with a loyalty scheme: A recent study in the UK found that 65% of people said they wanted brands to reward them as loyal customers in order to build their relationships with the brand. Andy O’Dell, co-founder and chief strategy officer at retail solutions business Clutch, said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints that businesses, “…need to take a fresh look at loyalty, beyond the stale definition that we’ve used for ages.
Focus instead on the level of involvement consumers have with the brand across channels. Ultimately, you need to deliver value to the consumer to earn and maintain their loyalty. If you only focus on transactions, you are missing a big opportunity to use your loyalty program as a way for consumers to establish an emotional connection with the brand.”
Remind them that you’re there (and you care!): Solve their problems and they’ll be forever grateful. Make it your life’s quest to fulfill the wishes and needs of your customers and you’ll be golden. Don’t forget to remind them of your value and benefits – offer them access to exclusive events, offers and resources because, of course, you love to love the loyal.…