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Halting growth to focus on existing customer relationshipsAt points in any business, small business owners find themselves in a good place. This is really the working dream, the place of neutrality. Your business is working, you feel in control and you finally feel able to call yourself a business person.
With the business doing well, the customers are happy, and the bank balance is looking good, where do you go from here? So, this begs the question when at this place do you strive for more growth or do you stop and nurture the existing customers that you have?
The Fives times ruleThe Five times rule is a common stat that gets banded about on the internet. It claims that it costs five times more to win a new customer then it does to retain an existing one. This is a very simple statistic that we can all get our heads around. With this in mind it would seem logical to stick to looking after and providing amazing service to existing clients than spend money attracting new ones.
How to nurture existing client relationshipsTo nurture any relationship, you need to talk and communicate. Your clients want and need to feel special, they want to be valued. They want to know that you are willing to go the extra mile for them and that you are willing to put their needs ahead of finding new prospects.
As a consumer how does it feel when you find out that your supplier is giving a better deal to new customers than it does to you as an existing customer. It doesn’t make you feel valued, respected but it does make you feel hopping mad. So much so it might drive you straight onto the internet to find yourself a better deal with another provider. Don’t fall foul to this in your small business.
Be respectful, open and honest with your clients. By obtaining the client’s business, you have already done the hard work. You have won their business, shown them you are trustworthy so now it is time to get to know them better. Try asking a few simple questions:
• Are you happy with our service?
• How are we doing?
• Are there any extra products or services that you need from us?
• Is there anything else you would like us to do?
Give that little extraTo make someone feel valued we need to go out of our way to give them that little extra. So rather than just picking up the phone and asking them “how are we doing?”, why not make a visit to see them. Or if you have enough money in your budget, take them out for a spot of lunch or for a social drink. Growing a relationship is easier to do in a calming more social environment than in an office. Our biggest tip is to ensure that you are doing this face to face, don’t send them an email.
Recommendations from existing clientsIf your existing clients are happy with you and your business, then they are more likely to recommend your services to other people. This alone is worth any extra money you may have spent in terms of wooing them. It will save you the reported five times the money you would have spent on finding new clients but with the added bonus of still retaining your existing ones.
Providing what our customers needAt Halcyon Offices we have done just that. We have looked, listened and gone ahead with providing our existing clients with more comfort. At our Wesley House location in Leatherhead, we have turned The Wesley Suite into a breakout space for our existing clients to enjoy. The Wesley Suite is a great stately room, it is one of the biggest in the building. It has huge windows, providing a great deal of light to the room.
We could have turned into more offices to sell to new clients but instead we decided it would better serve our existing customers as a break out space. This has been a huge hit and the room is now enjoyed by all in the building. We want our clients to know how much we value them and how we are here to ensure that they have all they need, even if they didn’t know that they needed it themselves.