Stronger customer relationships are the cornerstone of your future success. There’s a lot of proof to back up that statement, thanks to research conducted by a variety of marketing experts. For example:
- It will cost you five times more to attract a new customer than it will to retain an existing customer.
- The odds that you will sell something to an existing customer is 60-70 percent; the odds for a new prospect is 5-20 percent.
- Increasing customer retention rate by 5 percent can increase profits by 25-95 percent.
Here are the top eight solutions for building stronger customer relationships.
1. Put a Face on Your Customers
You may not meet them all in person, but identifying “personas” that describe your target customers in detail will almost make you feel like you have. Document what’s important to your customers, what their goals are and how they make decisions about what to buy.
2. Monitor the Complete Customer Experience.
Make sure you understand and approve of the messages that your company sends at every point of customer contact. Your relationship with your customers may start with your sales team, but evaluate how easy it is to work with your company right through paying the bill.
3. Provide Uniform Products and Services
It’s very difficult for a customer to remain loyal if they get outstanding service one day and poor service the next. Or, if the product is flawless in one order and flawed in the next. Work hard to provide consistency that your customers can count on.
4. Give Unexpected Extras
Find ways to give your customers more than they expect. You could include a free sample of a related product with an order. Or follow the lead of the microwave popcorn company that packages their popcorn in containers that turn into serving bowls.
5. Share Information
In this content marketing era, you can’t be afraid to give away the store. Sharing openly will endear you to your customers and convince them of your expertise.
6. Empower Your Staff to Do the Right Things
With the right training and information, employees can resolve customer problems on the spot.
7. Say Thank You
Find ways to show your customers how much you appreciate them.
8. Use an Effective Customer Relationship Management Solution
A CRM like Salesforce will allow you to track customer goals, track the customer experience, share information easily, give your staff the information they need to do the right things and say thank you on a regular basis.
Focusing on maintaining strong customer relationships does take time and money, but you’ll find the return on that investment more than satisfactory.
Also published on Medium.