Long-term business relationships require ongoing care and attention in order to survive and flourish. Wooing and Winning clients is just the beginning; WOWING them for the duration is where it often becomes more difficult but where the rewards are greatest.
You’ve probably found yourself in business relationships that started out with great promise. As a new Customer, you found yourself on the receiving end of focused attention, special offers, and other such “perks” that are so prevalent in budding relationships. As the relationship and connection evolved the attention seemed to wane, and expectations that were easily met or even exceeded in the early days were no longer guaranteed.
Smart companies will take actions to ensure that long-term clients feel the same “love” as those that have just come on board.
Nothing shows a Customer you care about their business more than staying on top of what they need and when they need it. Customers should remain confident that you have their back, attentive to their projects, and thinking proactively about how improvements can be made in the future. This strategy positions you as a Business Resource and provides a buffer against any encroaching competition.
Many companies and retailers use special offers and promotions to win new clients but don’t do anything for long-term Customers that have been loyal for years. The approach seems to be misguided. Sure, you can woo new business with notable offers, but don’t forget about the Customers that have been doing business with you for years. Be creative – something for nothing doesn’t necessarily mean an adjustment in pricing. If you want to provide proactive, exceptional Customer Service, consider the following:
Don’t always wait for your Customers to call you. Instead reach out to them to make certain that you are meeting, or perhaps exceeding, their requirements. Often companies will wait until there is a problem to reach out to Customers. It’s a better strategy to maintain an ongoing dialogue during the good times so that you have a better opportunity to expand the relationship and impress them with your attentiveness.
Your staff must keep up with emails and telephone calls and return both in a timely manner. This is true during the “honeymoon” phase of the business relationship as well as for existing Customers that you have had for years.
The moment you start to take a Customer for granted is when you begin to undermine the relationship and potentially lose them to your competition.
Remember that it is costly and time consuming to win new business. Continue to provide your existing Customers with Excellent Customer Care and you will enjoy increased client retention.
For further discussion or comments, please contact Gail L. Trugman Nikol, President Unique Business Solutions, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (516) 935-5641.