Effective communication is the cornerstone of ANY relationship, whether personal or professional. That means effective communication with your customers is paramount if you want to be successful. Loyal customers come from building a real relationship with them, not just providing them with one-offs. How do you create that relationship? By providing them with something of value, which will prove to be profitable for you in the long run.
The way to accomplish this is pretty straightforward.
First of all you need to know the value each of your clients. This may sound a bit harsh, but to be successful, you must determine which of your clients provides you with the best return on your investment in order to prioritize your marketing and communications programs with all your clients.
Your customers will generally your customers will fall into one of three categories; high value, medium value, or low value.
Your high value customers are most likely your repeat clients, and will generate the most revenue for you. These are the customers you want to keep in regular contact with, and provide them with some extra value from time to time, in order to keep them as lifetime customers. Medium value customers are often those clients who are currently a very profitable customer who, with proper care and communication, could very likely become a high value client.
The low value customers are those customers who offer very little in the way of profitability to your company. You can lower your costs of doing business with them by automating much of your communication with them as possible. At some point, these low value clients are likely to either become more profitable or take their business elsewhere.
So, of course the first thing you have to do it to properly categorize your clients. Whether you are capturing contact information manually via foot traffic into your brick and mortar business, or are capturing information electronically through a lead capture system on your website, you still need to do regular maintenance to ensure all the info is current and up to date. It is especially important to make sure that all names are spelled correctly; if you can’t take the time to get your clients’ names right, the impression you will leave with them is that they are unimportant, and therefore, what value could you possibly provide to them?
The other thing you need to do is ‘know your customer’. Understand their wants and needs. Identify and remove their ‘pain points’. This will also enhance your communication with your clients, further strengthening your relationship with them.
Finally, always give your customers a method to provide you with feedback. Remember that communication is a two way street. Your clients’ needs may change over time, and if you are not in tune with that, you will end up losing them. Great customer service and feedback from your clients go hand in hand, and if you don’t provide your customers with both, you can be certain your business will suffer.
Until next time…
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