The Importance of Customer Relationships

by | Oct 14, 2016

What’s the main ingredient to a successful business…….customers!

In order to achieve business success, we need to have loyal customers. Did you know that businesses have a 60 to 70% chance of selling to existing customers, while making a sale to a new customer can be anywhere between 5 and 20% success rate. Most sales are done on a Know, Like and Trust Factor. So, it’s vital that we build relationships with our customers in order to help our business become successful.

Regardless of the product or service that you provide, your customers expect a certain standard of service, and expect to be treated well before, during and after a sale.

This blog is to give you a few tips on how you can help to build that customer relationship.

Firstly you are looking to build your network –
You need to build a list – a list of people who you come into contact with in your business. These can be current customers, prospective customers, past customers, suppliers, partners, community contacts, people you have met at networking events. You need to keep this list in one place so that you can access their contact details (name, address, telephone number, email, social media platforms) and most importantly, be able to keep in contact with them – regularly. There are a number of CRM (Customer Relationship Marketing) tools out there that you can use to collate all the information, depending on the size of your list, and what you can afford – please contact me if you would like more details on what’s available. But to begin with, just an excel spreadsheet will do – just to ensure you keep a list of everyone together.

Communicate –
You need to ensure that you are communicating to your list on a regular basis and in a variety of ways. When you meet someone for the first time, they are not necessarily going to buy from you immediately – they may not require your service or product at that time…..but it is your job to keep infront of them so that you are the first person that they think of when they do require your services or product.
There are a number of ways that you can communicate to them –
Send a ‘It was nice to meet you’ email after first being introduced Send them a monthly newsletter – full of hints and tips and advice to help them Email any promotions or offers that you currently have or send some direct mail Interact with them on Social Media platforms, create groups for your customers Pick up the telephone and have a chat with your customers especially if you haven’t touched base for a while – just ask if you can help them with anything .. But most importantly when you do communicate – be you – communicate like yourself and start to build that trust in the relationship.

Listen –
All customers are different and they will all have different requirements and needs. It’s really important to listen to your customers and take action on what their requirements are.
Perhaps now is a good time to ask your customers to complete a questionnaire – take the time to ask them what they like about your business and also what it is they think you could do better, then try to implement that.

Reward Loyal Customers –
Say Thankyou. As we mentioned at the beginning, repeat customers can spend more than new customers, so have a think about what you are doing to encourage your customers to come back to you?

Do you ever send Thankyou cards, flowers, chocolates?

Stay in touch with them even after the sale and offer them something of value in exchange for their commitment to you – think about where you shop and why you go back there – what reward cards do you carry around and what do they offer – how you could implement that into your business?

WOW Customers
Again, have a think about where you spend your money, and why you go back to those shops or services.
These days we all have a lot of competitors around us, so have a think about what your competitors do and how you might do things differently. What can you do that might make your customers say ‘WOW’ that was great customer service and want to come back to you. Remember if you ‘WOW’ them then they are likely to tell someone else too and word of mouth as we all know is a great sales tool.

If you do have a great story of how you have ‘Wowed’ a customer or you have been on the receiving end of great customer service and someone has ‘Wowed’ you, then drop us a line and tell us the story – we’d love to hear about it & maybe we can share it on our social media pages……..

Sarah Gerken
Author: Sarah Gerken