When I was little, my Dad would make up stories about random objects I'd pick…
How Horrible Are You at Engaging With Your Clients?
We work so hard in business to get a customer.
We market our products and services, spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars, we have sales calls, we follow up two, three, four times to get the sale, and then finally we crack it. We have made the sale! Unfortunately, though for most businesses the next phase is something that they do really poorly.
Phase two of any business after making the sale needs to be customer engagement, customer retention, creating customer walking billboards and seeing if your customer wants to upsell, cross-sell, down-sell to any other products and services you offer.
We often forget that a current customer is worth more to us than having to spend time, money and effort on getting new customers. Yet, unfortunately, most businesses seem to focus mainly on getting the new, rather than focusing on the current.
So how can you build better relationships and engage more with your current customers and clients?
The first step.
You need to see this, as important. Businesses who have a great culture of ‘caring’ for their customers and clients see this as important. They realise that every customer has a network behind them, that they know other people just like them and with the same challenges. Therefore, the likely hood of them telling one of them is high, if they believe you care about them.
Here is an example of what not to do: A mortgage brokers office called the other month out of the blue and said, “Hi Michael, I thought I’d give you a quick call as your loan is due for expiration.” I had not even heard from their office in the previous five years.
The lesson, if the only time you engage with your customers or clients is to get another sale, then it won’t take long before you have no business. Your business needs an engagement plan, a plan that has you making touching points throughout the year for no other reason than to check in and engage on a personal level.
It is too easy to hide behind emails and be lazy and the businesses that decide to do that and send out a pointless newsletter every month are leaving thousands of dollars on the table because they are horrible at engaging with clients and customer.
The second step.
After making the decision that this actually matters, is to work out ‘how you can engage’ with your customers and clients? What sorts of things are easy for your type of business to do? Is it customer appreciation days, nights, events or is it simple ‘how are you’ phone calls or messages or cards or gifts?
There is so much a business can do to engage with their own clients, but whatever you do decide to do, it must come from a place of building relationships and engaging and not from a ‘sales’ perspective. Sales will come from doing this well if your focus is on sales, then this will drive your customer and clients away and ruin your business.
Most importantly this does not need to be hard, it doesn’t need any great planning or to be overthought. The idea is to have better relationships with all of your clients, to engage with them more often and to work with them on becoming walking billboards.
For us, this is one of the most important aspects of our business, and we would spend 60% of our month on such activities. Every 90 days we want to engage with our whole network, not just our clients and customers. We understand that every 45 days we are forgotten, people are busy, and life gets in the way, so it is important to touch base.
We do this through ‘how are you’ emails, phone calls, cards, social media messages and organising lunches, dinners and events.
You will see a huge difference not only in the growth of your business but also in how much happier your clients are, how few problems you have and how many less fires you have to put out.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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