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In most organizations, the 80/20 rule stands true: 80% of the business comes from 20% of the customer base. With this in mind, what are you doing to protect that valuable 20%? If you haven’t thought about developing these relationships to ensure they are rock solid, there is no time to waste in getting started. You need to focus on implementing a serious relationship management plan to keep these clients on board going forward. Here are five ideas that will help in this mission.
One of the first steps to building a meaningful relationship is to show the person that you care. This step is no less critical in a business relationship than it is in a personal relationship. You might not be buying them flowers and writing them love letters (definitely hold back on the love letters!), but corporate gifts, hampers, and notes to congratulate them on a promotion or special occasion in their life will be well-received.
We all know that content is king, and you can use this to your advantage when building an unbreakable client relationship. What valuable insights, facts, or information can you share with your clients? These may be related to the industry as a whole, their products, or tips to get the best out of the services you offer. While you most likely share some of this information via newsletters or social media already, giving your best customers some added attention and personalized information will go a long way.
Speaking of personalization, do you have a friend who always remembers what projects you are working on? Or asks after your cousin who had pneumonia? Everyone likes that special feeling when someone is paying attention to what you say and cares enough to remember the details.
How can you make that work for you in the office? Why not start a log of personal notes on your customers? Make sure you jot down their partner’s name, how many children they have, their favorite sporting team, and other pertinent information. This way, you can make them feel special by bringing personal details into conversation next time you talk to them.
It is never good practice to keep your customers waiting days to get a response. The trick to ensuring you always go back with an efficient response is to ensure you have robust processes and clear accountability.
When these are in place, then there is no confusion about whose job it is to respond to emails, what an acceptable response time is, and how to solve any customer queries or issues efficiently and effectively. Whether you are sending a quote, invoicing a client, or dispatching an order, quick reaction times are always appreciated.
Just as communication is the cornerstone of a good marriage, it is the cornerstone of a good business relationship. Touch base with your customers regularly. Make sure you let them know if their order is going to be late or if your policy has changed.
Ask them about any concerns they may have about the market or suggestions they may have for how you could improve the service you offer them. Good communication is a two-way deal – your customers are a fantastic source of information and feedback.
With the current challenging economic situation, it is more crucial than ever to look after your valued clients. They are the ones who will help you make it through this tough time, so make sure you are making them feel special.