To develop its business, a company must both prospect to recruit new customers and drive the loyalty of its current customers. However, many studies show how essential it is, above all, to retain your existing customers and to create a link with them to better withstand competitive pressure.
Yes, retaining your customers must be the priority issue for developing the business.
And if you aren’t yet certain, here are 3 figures to remove your last areas of reluctance or to help you internally convince people about the importance of implementing customer loyalty actions.
Did you know?
- It costs between 4 and 10 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.
- +1% in customer loyalty provides + 7% more profit.
- A customer acquired by word-of-mouth is 16% more loyal than a customer acquired by other methods.
Source: study conducted by Bain & Company, used by Jim Palmer in his book, Stick Like Glue
But in specific terms, how can you create an unbreakable link with your customers and turn them into ambassadors for your business?
Here are some key steps to implement to create a genuine emotional link with them and reduce their volatility.
1 - Knowledge of your customers
To build a sustainable relationship, you need to know your customer and think about them in emotional terms: who are they? What are their tastes? What have they purchased from you? What are their comments and suggestions? In BtoB, 20% of customers sometimes represent 80% of the business.
Developing your customer knowledge means that you must meet them and create interpersonal ties with them to better respond to their needs.
2 - Satisfying your customers
Put in place tools to measure the satisfaction of your customers and identify areas for improvement. Of course, if your customers devote time to you, in return, you have to devote time to them, by giving them regular feedback on your performance, your new products, and the way in which you have integrated their remarks.
3 - Do it even more for your customers!
If you want to create a network of ambassadors, you must know how to give without expecting anything in return in the short term. Look to surprise your customers, offer them an original and differentiating experience.
A satisfied customer, who feels listened to and special, will tend to recommend your business. Word-of-mouth and recommendation have significant economic effects which must absolutely be taken into account.
It is by converting your customers into ambassadors that you can acquire new customers.
4 - Investment
Free up budgetary resources to invest in your customers who themselves become ambassadors of your business. This represents a cost, certainly, but you should see it as an investment and don’t forget that this will continue to be less expensive than acquiring new customers.
Have you thought about Public Relations?
Thanking your partners by inviting them to a public relations event helps to build relationships and create a unique and sustainable link.
- Public relations initiate a quality contact. The sales and marketing team directly meet decision-makers and their most important customers, whereas getting a traditional appointment with these same people would have taken more time.
- The informal context facilitates exchange and the sharing of friendly moments. A relational dynamic is established and your customers, delighted with the interest that you have in them, become your best ambassadors.
A public relations event must, nevertheless, be rigorously prepared to be relevant. See our tips for the success of your public relations event.
In 2016, Stade de France welcomed close to 90,000 VIP guests. Among corporate clients, you are as likely to find large companies as you are SMEs or very small enterprises oriented towards the general public or BtoB.
Their common point is to have integrated a powerful public relations tool into their strategy to create the link with their customers and develop their business.
Loyalty is won thanks to the unique and special relationship that you will successfully establish with your customers over time.
To summarise, here are a few useful tips to help you in your approach.
- Closely study your marketing and sales budgets - for what types of customers do you spend the most budget on?
- Ask yourself about the type of links that you have developed with your customers and at what level of relationship are you at with each of them?
- Have you recently lost strategic clients, for what reasons? What stopped you from maintaining a more durable link with them?
- Finally, what could you do to more of tomorrow to strengthen this especially unique and valuable link between you and your customers and so that this link becomes unwavering?
It’s over to you!