You have most likely heard the saying that it takes seven times as much effort to land a new customer compared to simply maintaining an existing customer. If you have been in business for a while you definitely understand the value of maintaining great relationships with customers and that understanding their values can lead to more sales and even an increased order frequency as well as some great referrals.
Every business dreams of building an army of ambassadors, who recommend their products and services with almost fanatical zeal. Do you know what it is that creates an ambassador customer, though and are you willing to put in the work? Maintaining exceptional customer relationships can be complex and simple at the same time. On the simple side of things it can be summed up in two words: personal relationships.
At our local printing shop in Ottawa we take the time to assess each customer to identify why they chose to do business with us and order our printing products in Ottawa when they have other options. This is crucial to us so that we can provide individual attention to each customer in order to keep them as clients but also to continue offering the same value that convinced them to do business with our local print shop in the first place.
On the trickier side of things, each of these relationships are individual, requiring different approaches and an investment of time. When you can get it right and you add value to your customers in a way that means something to them and their business you will see dramatic improvements in your sales and the overall process of dealing with customers. You become not just a supplier but a trusted friend, confidant and advisor. If you get it wrong then you could come across as sleazy or corrupt and that is not what Printing Shark is about in Ottawa and likely you do not want this for your own business. So what should you do to build value and personally identify with your clients?
Finding your client’s hidden values
If you’re familiar with benefits driven marketing, you’ll know the difference between looking at your product or service from your point of view and your customer’s. You already know the value you provide to your customers, whether that’s time or money saved, a process simplified, or the peace of mind knowing your products are high quality every time.
That’s your general value, though and we need to dig deeper. Look at your customers individually, and ask yourself why each one buys from you, rather than the competition. Is it because you’re closer, deliver cheaper, or because you make life easier for them in some way?
Make a customer list and note what working with you means to each of them. You might find recurring reasons, but you’ll also find some individual ones too. Put yourself in their shoes, and if you’re not sure of the answer, ask them. You might discover some things you’re doing right you weren’t even aware of, and some places where you can improve, all of which will help you with the next step.
Fulfilling hidden values
Once you know your client’s hidden values, you’re armed with information to help you create loyal customers by first over delivering. So for instance, we offer printed materials in Ottawa and we learn that our client uses our services because the price is good but they have difficulty getting the graphic designs right, and we have the skills to create some awesome designs for them free of charge. By offering them graphic design services either for free or heavily discounted, they are receiving tremendous value from Printing Shark in Ottawa and will be happy to do business with us for years to come.
This way, we are providing core value in our own printing products and services, and by adding value in a service provided free of charge, we are cementing the human relationships that underpin our business relationship with our local printing shop and our customers.
That’s doing it the right way, throwing in a bonus that adds value to your client’s business. If you take the time to identify the values of each of your customers you will find ways to continue doing great things that ensure your business will succeed as well as new opportunities to introduce new value-building systems, processes and bonuses that will boost your sales and make your business stand out.