Here at CBC, we know for sure that the way a business handles relationships with its customers has a profound effect on its prosperity. Apparently, 68% of customers stop doing business with a particular company because of an attitude of indifference towards the customer by employees (Mcgraw Hill) and according to the Office of Consumer Affairs, it costs six times as much to recruit a new customer as it does to keep an existing one. These results are a cry for a change in strategy to keep clients. Worryingly, businesses are losing between 20% and 30% of their customers on average every year. So, it’s time to really think about the best ways to maintain current clients.

With this in mind, we’ve worked hard over the years to keep our clients happy and meet their business objectives. Our statistics show that our average client relationship is 4 years, and a third of our clients have been with us for over 6 years. We cultivate relationships based on trust and transparency, and only use suppliers with the same ethos; this shows our clients that we’re serious about business, and that we’re reliable.

Here are some tips from us on how to keep your clients longer:

1)Understand where the client’s business is at, and tailor your loyalty strategy accordingly.
Consider where your client’s business fits into a life cycle. Each stage of the cycle is a stepping stone; and a client will only take you to the next stage with them if they trust you to handle it. For example, as you first begin to working with a client, they need to know that you are good people and understand their business well enough to get them established. But as their business evolves, they will need to trust you to represent the service or product correctly to the public and be an extension of their brand identity. Further down the line, you may have to provide business advice. Here, a client will need to respect your point of view, recognise your ability and trust that you have the best interests of their business in mind. Your relationship with the client changes as time goes on and as the client’s business changes, so aligning your strategy with this is key to keeping their business.

2)Ensure your service/product adds value to your customers.
Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised! Ask yourself two basic questions: Will my service/product save them money? Will my service/product bring in revenue? These are the vital measurable that your client is interested in, and the best way to prove your value. Continually adding value to your client’s business will create a level of trust and reliability in your service.

3)Ask for feedback, and filter it into your service.
By forming an action plan around your clients’ feedback, you are able to tailor your product/service into something that is more valuable to them, which is likely to attract them for longer. Equally, seeing that you have taken their feedback seriously will please them.

4)Wow your clients and report results straight away.
As they say, the proof is in the pudding. Nothing will demonstrate how good your service is more than achieving results for your clients, and their reaction to each result will allow for constant alignment of your loyalty strategy with their business objectives.

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