People don’t like to be taken for granted, irrespective of whether they are giving freely of their time and resources or whether they are paying for them. Customers may also leave if they feel they are being taken advantage of by not getting consistent high levels of service and some sort of communication, periodically.
Make a customer feel taken for granted or taken advantage of and just expect his or her business to keep coming your way, and you will lose him or her forever.
Customers have always had choices, but in today’s global markets they have more choices than ever before and a greater willingness to use them. With so many alternative products, services and suppliers to choose from, and access to what are sometimes significantly cheaper prices, no buyer in his right mind is going to stick with a company that doesn’t offer excellent value for their money and first-class service, no matter how long they might have dealt with a particular supplier in the past.
Many times what happens when companies have been doing business together for years is that the supplier begins to rest on his/her laurels, believing that for the customer to change suppliers would simply be too much hassle and inconvenience.
That’s just no longer the case. A new supplier who is keen to steal away your business, will go out of their way to ensure that that transition is as smooth and trouble-free as possible and that the customer suffers no inconvenience at all.
A good way to keep clients happy is to setup a system of checks and balances that will help you communicate the value they bring to your business, while making sure you provide them with the best products and services that meet their needs.
Here are just a few ideas that may help you in setting up a client care system:
- Check client purchases on a quarterly basis to be sure you are maintaining their business
- Touch base with the client by phone or email quarterly to see how their business is doing and what additional needs they may have
- Two to three times a year take a moment to send them a greeting card (we use Send Out Cards) or a handwritten thank you card to show them you care about and value their business
- Several times a year send them a brief survey asking them to tell you about their experiences with you, your level of service and any areas you can improve upon
- Several times a year pick up the phone and engage them just to let them know you are thinking about them
- Engage them at least once a month (preferably once a week) with some sort of electronic email or eZine to stay top-of-mind
These are just a few ideas of ways to build a strong relationship with your best customers on a regular basis. This may seem like a lot, but even if your customers appear to be totally loyal to your organization, never make the mistake of taking them for granted, or taking advantage of them, as there is always someone else who will quite happily come along and show them how much their business is valued.
Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan check out her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com
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