All things being equal, people would rather do business with their friends. You may have heard that before, but have you ever considered why it’s important to create a friendship with your customers? Outside of the office, you have friends (don’t you?) that you’ve developed relationships with who have enriched your life in many ways. The same criteria that composes the foundation of these friendships, such as rapport and trust, can be used to build strong customer bonds – and build your business.
The core element of a good relationship is communication. We’re all busy, and often don’t/can’t take the time to maintain good communication with our customers. This “neglect”, for lack of a better term, can take a toll on your bottom line. Consider the following:
- For every month that we don’t contact or communicate with our client, we lose 10% of our influence.
- The average business loses 50% of its customers every 5 years…the cost of replacing them can be 6-7 times more expensive.
- 82% of all homeowners can’t tell you the name of their realtor if they bought their home more than two years ago.
- On an impulse, 95% of your customers will purchase from a competitor – even if YOU provide great service!
On the other hand, if you make an effort to stay in touch, the benefits can be significant:
- 5% increase in customer loyalty will yield 20%-80% to your bottom line profit…it’s much wiser to spend money on customer retention than acquisition.
- 62% of your clients aren’t taking advantage of all of your products or services, most likely because they aren’t aware of them. Let them know.
- 66% of your business within the next year will come from your sphere of influence, which grows through only one method: communication.
Communication is just as important when making efforts to generate new business. For example, studies show that 79% of all leads generated at a trade show aren’t followed up. So why did you go?
You may be aware that an average prospect won’t do business with you until they’ve seen or heard you or your message at least 7 times. How do you plan to invest that much effort in one prospect? How about 50 prospects at once?
So what to do? How can you stay on top of all this while trying to run your business? The good news is, you have options:
- Greeting cards – Only 3% of our mail is personal…how do you feel when you walk out to the mail box and see a personal card addressed to you? Your clients/prospects are no different. There are several online options for automating the cards you send while retaining a personal touch.
- Direct mail – Although direct mail is not as effective as it once was, use this method with a slightly different approach: send material that’s a bit more personal to existing clients only. If done right, you will achieve the desired result – your clients will be reminded of you.
- Email campaigns – Email is more ubiquitous than ever, but sending newsletters with useful information to your clients just may pique their interest enough that they will open the email. If nothing else, your name in their inbox will still remind them of you.
The point is, just saying thank you to your clients – particularly new clients, even if it’s only a phone call, will absolutely increase your bottom line. Communicate. Appreciate. Invigorate your business.
To your success!
NOTE: All statistical data based on independent studies.