Customer relations are a complex science for all companies, regardless of their sector of activity or size. However, in order for them to become real success factors for your organization, it is enough to understand a few simple principles from which good practices will naturally follow. A satisfied customer is first and foremost a customer who feels recognized: it is therefore essential to multiply the marks of consideration and recognition for the customers you wish to retain. These marks can take the form of business gifts, loyalty programs or original contests: here are the three steps that will allow you to choose the most effective one for your company.
Step 1: Define your customer relationship objectives
The first step to improving your customer relationships is to clearly define your goals. The first of these is often loyalty: acquiring a new customer can cost up to seven times more than retaining your current customers! However, many techniques can help you to reach this loyalty objective in a very simple way: from the traditional end of year gift to the customized loyalty program, you will just have to choose the methods that best fit your organization and your customers. In addition, this goal-setting stage can be the perfect opportunity to engage your employees, who will likely be full of creative ideas to help you.
Step 2: Choose a profitable and effective strategy
Once you’ve clearly defined your customer relationship goals, you’ll be able to create an effective strategy to achieve them. But the effectiveness of that strategy will depend on more than just the accuracy of your goals. You’ll also need to focus on developing the best possible customer knowledge to identify and implement the right loyalty levers. Are you hesitating between offering an end-of-year gift, launching a contest on your professional social networks or issuing vouchers? There is no good solution in the absolute: only an excellent knowledge of your customers will allow you to make the most profitable choices. Don’t hesitate to carry out a market study, no matter how old your company is: this analysis will help you to see things more clearly. Don’t hesitate to plan your budget in advance: having an overview of the resources you have available will make it much easier to make decisions.
Step 3: Plan the operational aspects and monitoring of your strategy
Once you have designed your loyalty strategy, you can move on to its implementation. But your strategic thinking doesn’t stop there! You’ll need to make sure your strategy is working, while looking for ways to continually improve it. For example, if you’ve decided on the year-end gift, analyze the results: are your customers satisfied? To find out, don’t hesitate to ask them directly, through an anonymous questionnaire or in a more direct way. Also think about questioning your employees, and in particular those who are in daily contact with your customers: the members of your after-sales service as well as your sales representatives will be able to give you precious information on the degree of satisfaction of your customers.