Lasting Customer Relationships
Neil Bromage has run his own small business and is a freelance business writer working on a range of newspapers including The Times, Sunday Times, Telegraph and Financial Mail on Sunday. This book is based on a wide range of columns and Q&As written and answered by Neil for Business Link over a number of years. He is based near Preston, Lancs.
- 1.Set yourself apart from the competition: give your customers something they can’t get elsewhere. Make your niche something of real value and people will come back again and again.
- 2.Don’t waste time on activities that can be automated: embrace new technology and allow it to free up your time so you can concentrate on the important stuff -your customer.
- 3.Eliminate the time you spend on non-productive tasks: handle paperwork on time and then file it instead of stacking it in a pile. All these little things add up to lots of wasted time that could be spent on your customer. For instance, unsubscribe to email newsletters you never read instead of deleting them each time.
- 4.Concentrate your efforts on marketing to the people that need your service: start by auditing your marketing and sales data to find out how and why a sale is made. Eliminate or change marketing strategies and services that don’t serve the needs of your customers.
- 5.Respond to email and messages quickly: response time for email should be under 24 hours. By responding quickly you send the message that your customers are important and you are genuinely interested in meeting their needs.
- 6.Follow up on sales orders: make sure your customer is thoroughly satisfied with their purchase and offer them additional services related to it.
- 7.Give refunds promptly and unconditionally.
- 8.Ask your customers to fill out a survey so you can better understand their needs: offer a valuable freebie or a discounted service for participating. This strategy establishes a dialogue between you and the customer and helps determine the direction of your business.
- 9.Publish a newsletter: give your customers valuable tips and information they can’t get anywhere else.
- 10.Make your website easy to navigate: customers value their time and appreciate finding what they want quickly and effortlessly.