By James Gaw
There is probably no other time in history when business conditions have been as difficult and competitive as they are today. Companies are pressuring their managers to work harder and smarter to sell their products. One vital factor that most companies tend to forget is that customers are the only reason they are in business. In turn, customers are curtailing their buying, because the tough times are impacting them as well. It is time Australian corporations realise that customers are not just numbers on a sales graph. They need to help their customers to run a more efficient and profitable business so that they can keep them as customers and keep them coming back.
Existing customers - prime prospects!
It should really go without saying that your prime source of new business is your existing customers. You already have a track record with them. They trust you and your products. It is easier to sell more to them than it is to find new prospects. It is less expensive too. Management guru Peter Drucker said it all when he said "On average it costs you five times as much to get a new customer as it does to hold an existing one". Jan Carlzon, the man who turned SAS from a huge loss maker into a profitable airline in less than two years echoed Druckerís thought when he said, "All profits come from customer satisfaction". Both were right and their advice is exactly what is needed today.
Communicating with customers
There is a myriad of ways to communicate with your customers. All the old time methods, such as, sales letters, telemarketing, brochures and so on, sometimes work, most times they donít. It is a hit and miss situation. If we are to retain our customer base we need to upgrade our communication methods to take advantage of todayís technology.
Letís look at one area that companies use to communicate with customers, the customer newsletter. The main problem with customer newsletters today is, that in the main they are self-serving and not at all what a customer wants or needs. They waffle on about how good the company is and the brilliance of their products. Emphasis is placed on their company instead of where the emphasis should be placed, on their customers. The main objective is to retain existing customers and hope that they in turn recommend our products. To do this we must ensure that they see our communications as being useful and valuable to them. Our communications must assist our customers to do better in their businesses, which means that they will be able to spend more money with our company. We cannot achieve this objective if we continue to send out communications that prattle on about how good we are. Remember that, your customer is only concerned with that which benefits their company.
With the traditional media so fragmented and expensive, it is proving difficult to reach the right target audience at a cost-effective price. Your customers are also more sophisticated than ever before so you need to be the same. Your customers are constantly looking for ways to improve themselves, their people and their operations and any help you can give them to improve their business operation will undoubtedly have considerable benefits for you.
Communicating with customers
A new way of communicating with customers is just being introduced onto the corporate business scene. With Internet marketing being the modern way to reach your prospects you can now send your own fortnightly business magazine to your existing customer base to help them to improve their businesses and by doing so cement your relations with them.
By doing this you offer your customers meaningful help. In corporate communication content is king and this magazine contains articles on management from over 150 of the greatest management gurus in the world. Experts like Anthony Robbins, Al Ries, Zig Ziglar, Amanda Gore and scores of other great thinkers whose combined wisdom will help your customers do better business leading to better business for you from your existing customers who, of course, are your prime prospects. The magazine also contains your advertising and articles from your company. Such a company communication puts your sales messages on your customerís desk every fortnight. Using this idea you get the biggest names in business working for your company every issue.
CRM And Small Businesses
Models used by large businesses won't serve the needs of small businesses. And
prices are far out of reach. But small business can implement
many powerful aspects of CRM on their website.
Communicating with Customer Focus
Having a customer-focused mindset is important in providing exceptional customer service. Applying effective communication skills is equally important.
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Clients who love what you do are the cornerstone of a successful professional service business. Here are three ways to boost the value your clients associate with you and your business.