If you are reading this post, you are also more than likely aware of the fact that it costs up to 20 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain your current customers. But knowing this fact and keeping this fact in the forefront of your operations are two entirely different things.
Acquiring new customers is essential for any business. But how much attention do you pay them once you get them? How much tracking of customer trends do you do? Do you share customer information between departments? Do you operate internally as separate silos of information, or do you practice the “It Takes a Village…” mantra to take care of your customers?
Customer satisfaction and customer loyalty dramatically improve when customers feel that they are truly being cared for at a personal and company level. You can accomplish this in many different methods. The first and foremost is simply…. be nice to your customers during your interactions. Take this then to next level by sharing information internally that is appropriate.
Example… Joe Smith normally orders casual polo shirts from your company. All of a sudden a new order for dress shirts is sent in by Joe Smith. If you are like 95% of your competition, you process the order smoothly and the Joe is satisfied.
But, if you are really on the ball with paying attention to your customers as a company, someone in your order processing position noticed this and sent the info along to the customer relations manager. That manager then had a conversation with inside sales to determine if there have been any conversations around Joe’s company and any new areas of focus.
Either the customer relations manager or the inside sales team would then impress Joe by calling him to let him know that his order was received and, by the way, is he venturing into new markets? Is this a one time order into a new shirt or is this a new product offering? Would he like the link to other dress shirts or a catalog sent to him? What are his customers asking of him that you may be able to help him provide? Is there anything that your company can do to help him with these types of orders that will make life easier for him? Is there any feedback that he can provide you that will help you improve the way you deliver products to him? If you have one, do you log this information in your CRM program to track these answers and adjust accordingly?
Asking these types of questions, using your CRM software and/or soft skills will actively engage this customer and exponentially increase his customer loyalty. How could it not? Hardly anyone pays attention to their customers like this and when they do, they are seriously rewarded.
By spending just a little bit of time with your existing customer base, you’ll be doing more than any of your advertising dollars could ever accomplish. There is an article in Inc magazine that ties in some of these points with the concept I’ve just described. Please leave a comment as to what you think of this concept and/or the article and ways that your business has succeeded or could use some focus on existing customers.