By Erwin Brem (Sarina Russo Entrepreneurs Business Coach)
Without doubt one of the most overlooked parts of any business is the ongoing journey or experience that a customer, and even a prospective customer, goes through. In 99% of cases regardless of what the product or service is, if you buy from someone once, you'll probably never hear from that business ever again. (Don't they think that at some point in the future you'll buy again, or know someone else that might?)
The fact is that the more you do in building relationships with everyone that has anything to do with your business at any point, your business will grow faster. And that potentially includes everyone. Enquiries, suppliers, prospects, customers and then especially clients, neighbours, associates and anyone else that connects with you and your business.
The start point is thinking that everyone and who they know, are potential clients, and from there, it's about maintaining contact, and keeping you, in the front of their mind, without spamming them. So, here's a couple of thoughts.
1. Build a database from day one. Mailchimp or something similar is a great, simple tool to use.
2. Develop a follow-up strategy with everyone. Enquiries and sales. Follow-up everything.
3. Start thinking referrals. If every client referred one more customer a year, you'll never need to do any marketing, ever!
4. Understand the data and know what your customers are doing, buying, spending and how often.
5. Identify the A, B, C and D clients. The As are your key accounts, they generally give you 60 to 80% of the income, they need super service, and then you have the Bs and Cs, and the really small clients, are the Ds.
6. Build a customer journey plan. Look at every contact point and create a process of what needs to happen there.
So many clients I've dealt with over the years have seriously neglected past clients, they had no follow-up process at all. Every client that's bought once could buy again and often it's just a matter of asking them. In most cases once they start connecting again and following up, people buy again.
It's about the service experience, it's not just good or even great customer service anymore, it's about the entire experience they have at every contact point with a business. If there is none, it generally doesn't go any further. Make the service experience so spectacular that they have no option but to buy again and refer others to do the same. Try it, it works!
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