Matt Perkins, Head of SME Engagement at FreeAgent – which provides the UK’s market-leading online accounting system specifically designed for micro businesses and freelancers – shares his top tips on showing your customers some love and building positive, lasting relationships with them.
Work on your relationships with existing customers, as well as new ones
While attracting new customers is always going to be important, remember that your existing customers need some TLC as well! Spending time with your customers will not only make them feel valued, it could give you an opportunity to boost your sales.
Make sure your customers are aware of everything you can offer, and consider whether there might be an additional product or service you can tell them about.
Treat your best customers to a premium service
If you feel you’re selling all you can to your top customers, then how about offering them a ‘premium’ service? This can cover all sorts of angles but essentially it’s about aligning your offering to the needs of your very important clients. You could consider offering special delivery options to your premium customers, for example, or working on slightly different payment terms, if that’s appropriate. If you can make your input into your customers’ lives as relevant and valuable as possible, they are far more likely to want to continue their working relationship with you.
Encourage your customers to return the love
If you invest time and effort in nurturing your relationships with your existing customers, they should be keen to recommend you to their friends and family. Recommendations can be a great source of new business, so make it as easy as possible for customers to refer you to their friends. You might want to think about offering an incentive to encourage customers to do this; you could offer a small discount, for example, or a one-off complimentary product or service.
Keep moving your long-term relationships forward
When you’ve been working with a customer for a long time, it can be easy for the relationship to become a little stale. The key to any strong, lasting relationship is communication, so get out there and talk to your customers. Don’t just ask them what they love about you; ask them what your weaker points are as a supplier and what you could be doing differently. That way you can make the right changes and build even stronger bonds with your customer.
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