Business Innovation & Growth Acceleration
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Forbes: Only 8% of Companies provide an Integrated Customer Experience

The Customer Journey And 8 Ways To Develop Client Reltionships

Today continued business success is all about the "Customer Journey". It is about the quality and nature of the experience customers have, when interacting with your business i.e. the consistancy in the experience received and the overall perception of that experience in the mind of the customer. Of course, the nature of this experience will largly depend not only on the human and cultural aspect of the business but should also include the technology, processes and systems the business deploys.Get this area right and it can deliver significant Competitive Advantages and develop substantial Brand Value. As we discussed in “The importance of moving customers away from transactional relationships”, there are two-types of organisation: sales-centric and marketing-centric. If you want to future-proof your organisation against eroding profits, you need to change your strategy and move away from customer transactions to client relationships and experiences.

 

To do this, you need to engage in relationship marketing, which focuses on customer loyalty and long-term customer engagement, rather than short-term goals like customer acquisition and individual sales. It’s about getting your customers to emotionally connect with your brand so they see you as more than just a supplier.

 

According to a report published on Forbes, just 8% of companies currently provide a “very integrated” customer experience. This presents you with a huge opportunity to take the competitive lead, simply by engaging your clients in a way that no-one else is. Here we share our experience on how to perform effective relationship marketing. 

 

Understand your customers 

 

People are complicated creatures and it’s easy to stereotype, but that doesn’t mean it’s right. If you want to get off on the right foot, start getting to know your customers and undertake some simple research on social media. Everything is in the public domain, so it’s easy to find, and you can start identifying key trends that your target audience is interested in. 

 

Build trust 

 

As part of your marketing strategy, you need to give careful consideration to your messaging. This will flow through all your communications so it has to be clear, concise, and resonate with your target audience. Furthermore, any claims you make must be substantiated. It’s not enough to say you think something, to build trust it must be backed up by independent research from a reputable source. 

 

Tell a story 

 

Customers are tired of the features and benefits pitch. We’ve all heard it a hundred times before and are still left asking ‘so what?’. The most powerful way to tell your story is through a case study, either written, on video, or delivered in person at an event. By demonstrating the benefits of your product/service through a real-life example, your customers can see the real value it delivers. 

 

Inform and educate 

 

We live in an ‘always-on’ world where things are constantly changing. People are busy, and often it can be hard to stay up-to-date with the latest news and trends. Blogging is a powerful communication tool, which you can use to help keep your customers informed, and in the process position you as an industry leader, who’s approachable and willing to help solve their challenges. 

 

Regular communications 

 

Relationships only work well when you talk regularly and facilitate two-way communication so you can both talk and listen to your customer. One of the best channels to achieve this through is email marketing. Simple to set up and with great reporting functionality, it can help you to share valuable content, and then gain feedback on how you can assist your customers. 

 

Follow-through on your commitments 

 

There’s nothing worse than feeling let down. If you’ve promised to do something, don’t make your customer wait. It can be easy to forget things, but there’s no excuse when marketing automation systems can do it for you. Simply set everything up in advance and tell the system to notify you when specific actions need to be taken. 

 

Online reputation management 

 

Increasingly customers are sharing their experiences – good and bad – online. The organisations that come out on top are the ones that embrace this new digital world, sharing praise they’ve received and responding professionally to any complaints. The worst thing you can do is ask someone to delete negative comments and restrict their freedom of speech. 

 

Say thank you 

 

A simple phrase that we all love hearing, but that’s not necessarily said enough. There are many ways to say ‘thank you’, whether on the phone, or via email, in person over lunch or through a gift, a recommendation on LinkedIn, or a casual Tweet. It doesn’t matter how you say it, just that you do, so your customer feels valued. 

 

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We offer a range of training courses to help you maximise your sales and marketing performance by plugging any skills gaps. Our courses are structured to include real-life examples and situations that are directly relevant and applicable to your business, and designed to have an immediate and positive impact on your business performance. We provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee or a full refund. 

 

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Alternatively, have you considered outsourcing? Leveraging the skills and knowledge of the industry experts, outsourcing is a business strategy that moves responsibility of certain functions, processes, activities and decisions to third-parties. Many SMEs find it beneficial as it helps them to save money, allows them to focus on their core business, improves quality and increases operational efficiency. 

 

Discover more about the beauty of Outsourcing.

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