In tricky trading conditions, it is tempting to think that simply providing a high quality product is all it takes to survive but often that is not so. Marketing textbooks are full of superior products that lost out to inferior ones. So how do you get ahead? The answer may be in your customer base.
Here are a few tips:
1. Best Kept Secret
A good product supported by excellent service is mandatory. Anything less and why would any first time customer pick you out over the alternatives? Quite simply they may not have heard about you or understand how good you are. It is tempting to pull your marketing budget in these times but maybe you should be investing in marketing instead. How else will prospective customers find out about you?
2. First Impressions Count
Many prospective customers don’t get eyond the first stage with suppliers because of a poor initial contact with a company. Have you looked at your customer experience for new customers and arguably more importantly, your existing loyal customers?
3. All Customers Are Not Equal
You may think you should treat them all the same but customers have different needs and expectations, especially those who have a history of transacting with suppliers. Most businesses can be more profitable by concentrating on the needs of their existing, valuable customers – but first they have to understand them.
4. Some Customers Are More Profitable
Most companies are set up to acquire new customers when existing customers are much more profitable. They are easier to reach, you know more about them and they understand how to do business with you, for a start. You also know they have a need you can satisfy. Do you understand which customers your profit comes from?
5. Out of Sight Out of Mind
Unless your product isn’t good or you haven’t done a good job, the top reason why customers don’t come back is that businesses have not worked hard enough to keep in touch and stay top of mind. Do you understand how to keep in touch with customers?
If you would like to find out more about how to maximise the profit in your customer base, you can find out more from the ICD Partnership website on www.icd-partnership.co.uk or email Liz Moody on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liz Moody is a Director and consultant with ICD Partnership Ltd, specialists in customer management strategies.