When we speak with businesses, the most common marketing objective they are focused on is bringing in new clients. The majority of resources are usually channelled towards the undoubtedly important activity of new business generation.
Whilst new business development is clearly a vital activity in any organisation, it is important that we don’t neglect or take for granted the businesses that you are already in a relationship with, your customers.
With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, we thought it was a great time to highlight the importance of taking the trouble to show your current customers that you care. Without them you wouldn’t be in business, so make sure they know how important they are to you.
Famously, it is 5 times more expensive to acquire a new customer, compared with retaining and satisfying an existing customer’s needs. At a time when businesses are looking to get maximum value from their marketing budgets, customer retention has to be high on your list of priorities.
It is essential to keep in touch with your clients on a regular basis. Regular communication builds and strengthens relationships, ensuring you will benefit from your customer’s business for years to come. If you are good at showing you care and delivering what they need, your customers will become advocates for your organisation, referring you to friends, colleagues and companies, generating the new business that allows your business to grow.
Taking the time to understand your customer, their business and environment in which they operate, is an essential first step in laying a solid foundation for a good client relationship.
Building and maintaining effective and rewarding relationships with clients has many benefits:
Customer relationship management (CRM) helps businesses gain an understanding of the behaviour of their customers and enables you to adapt your business operations to ensure that your customers receive the best possible service. (Visit our article on CRM software)
A close relationship with clients helps you to recognise the value of your customer base. The better a business understands its customers, the more responsive it can be to their requirements.
Combining your customer relationship management with your marketing can be a great strategy to maintain customer loyalty, interaction and long-term engagement. The more opportunities a client has to engage with your business the better, so make sure you open up new channels to interact with clients as they become available.
Below are our Top 5 ways to keep the lines of communication open and develop close relationships with your clients:
1. Social media is a cost-effective tool to keep your business in contact with your current clients. Use Facebook and Twitter to follow their latest events, news and articles, ‘like’ their wall posts and re tweet their twitter feeds.
2. When interacting with a client, communication is very important. Stay in touch with your clients through e-newsletters and e-shots. Send reminders about special promotions you’re running, notifications about new merchandise you’re stocking or newsletters about community events that you’re sponsoring.
3. Personal communication is key, call and meet with your clients on a monthly, if not weekly basis. Spend time learning more about their business. Find out what problems they have and how you or your network might be able to help them.
4. Run events and seminars for your clients, providing them with a great networking opportunity, as well as a chance to learn more about the services you provide.
5. Finally, send your clients direct mail campaigns to say thank you. A simple thank you card, box of chocolates or personalised gift can go a long way.
Everyone is out to win new business but make sure you don’t forget your current loved ones.
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