Look after your customers, or somebody else will

on Tuesday, 10 November 2009. Posted in N21 Business Blog

                                                            

Look after your customers, or somebody else will

Small businesses are often very poor at managing their potential leads and customer relationships. Research by a number of leading business organisations has found that many small companies do not have up-to date databases on people who have made an approach to a company, or even past customers they have done business with.

As a potential customer for both consumer and commercial services I know all too well the frustration of not having my inquiries followed up in a courteous and timely manner. The recent downturn has been a wakeup call for many businesses and many companies are having to put more time and effort into gaining new business.

A good starting point is a simple excel sheet to record customer contact details, their business needs and how they are changing, as well as reminders of when to get back to them with offers. A simple analysis sheet can also help you to understand who your most profitable customers are and what type of marketing works best for you. Even if most of your business comes via word of mouth, this should still be fostered. Targeting your marketing efforts is even more important when times are hard. Make time for prospecting, you should be spending a significant proportion of your time selling or making potential new business contacts.


It is also important to remember that people do business with people. Creating an empathy with consumers or your clients remains as important as price cuts and promotions that you can offer them, even during an economic downturn.


Pay attention to their problems, their needs and go out of your way to make their lives easier.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR EXISTING CUSTOMERS?

DO YOU HAVE REASONS TO CONTACT THEM, PASSING ON USEFUL INFORMATION, NEW OFFERS OR ANYTHING ELSE THAT MIGHT HELP TO BUILD YOUR RELATIONSHIP?

WHAT CAN YOU OFFER TO CUSTOMERS/CLIENTS WHO HAVE STOPPED BUYING FROM YOU?

It is at least twenty times easier (more in some business sectors) to sell to someone who has already bought from you, than to win a new customer/client.

                   


Small businesses are often very poor at managing their potential leads and customer relationships. Research by a number of leading business organisations has found that many small companies do not have up-to date databases on people who have made an approach to a company, or even past customers they have done business with.

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.