Growing your clientele is all about the experience.
In Econsultancy's Digital Marketing Trends for 2017, 22% of companies said the single most exciting opportunity for 2017 was client experience. Client experience was voted higher than even content and mobile marketing.
The level of service quality your clients receive can make or break your business. With social media, your clients can rate their experiences instantly and provide positive or negative commentary that will directly impact your referral funnel (and ultimately your bottom line).
Average, standard and inferior client experiences are the hallmarks of companies destined to become commodities who attract price-sensitive consumers.
If your goal is to position your business to be perceived as value-intensive and quality driven, then let's review how you can create positive experiences for your clients. Your small business marketing strategy depends on it, especially if you cater to an affluent clientele.
We'll explain how you can gain referrals, great reviews, and clients for life with these easy to follow tips in the article below.
1. Shift your Focus to Client Experience
Once upon a time, businesses focused on cost efficiency and the price of operations. Clients were viewed more as numbers than as human beings. At one point only high-end brands could absorb the costs of high touch, quality-concentrated relational marketing. Technology has drastically changed this (for the better).
Now any company looking to grow their client base must focus on gaining their client's loyalty through an experiential journey encompassing online and offline touch points of attraction, engagement, and delight.
According to The Customers 2020 Report by Walker, by the year 2020, clients experience will ultimately surpass price and product as the key brand differentiator.
In a Deloitte survey, 62% of companies view client experience as a competitive differentiator.
You can't afford to ignore positioning your firm to include this unique selling proposition.
2. Increase Ease and Promptness of Communication
A big part of providing this client-focused approach centers around listening to your clientele. Always give them easy points of contact for their questions, issues, and concerns.
No matter how small the matter is - listen, acknowledge, research and communicate how the situation will be resolved. Each time a client communicates, it's an opportunity to learn how to maximize the positive and eliminate the negative.
3. Engage but, Don't Spam
Proactively contact your clientele in meaningful ways to find out how they are feeling about their experiences with your company. Touching basis for reasons beyond selling another service is an excellent way to connect on a level that supersedes the transaction.
Communication is key, but too much and you run the risk of stepping into spam territory. It sounds like a double message, but that's because the line is so fine between the two. Be sure to keep data on engagements to monitor how often you should (and shouldn't) communicate.
4. Plan Their Journey in Advance
Just as you prepare to launch new products and services, you should also have a mapped out customer journey long before they retain your services. Map out how you want your clients to grow with your company.
Develop a customer journey that incorporates their goals and KPIs. This way, you always have a high-level view on how your service activities support their objectives.
5. Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Design
Part of ensuring happy clients involves making their experience with you as pleasant, uncomplicated, and prompt as possible. That includes on your website and online tools.
Just as you would want a physical space to be aesthetically pleasing, you want your company’s website to be easy, intuitive to use and attractive. Limit the pop-ups or eliminate them entirely. The ambiance, mood, and fluidity of your website and social media channels can enhance or retract perceived value.
6. Develop Meaningful Methods to Engage
Here we are not referring to you endlessly sending promotional content but rather; we want you to open up a two-way channel of communication that strengthens both your personal and professional relationship.
As mentioned, it is of the utmost importance that you discover how your business is doing and whether it is meeting the needs of your clients. We suggest interviews, private client events, and one-on-one moments. Remember the goal is meaningful engagement.
7. Use Client Data Dynamically
If you already have information like your clients' names, birthdays, and contact information, don’t make them re-enter or repeat it. This deteriorates and de-personalizes the experience with you. Use this information to amplify your engagement with the client. Avoid being average by sending basic holiday and birthday cards. Go to the next level ensuring your firm knows the hobbies, food & wine preferences, recent travel adventures, family milestones and charitable causes important to your client.
Go to the next level ensuring your team knows the hobbies, food & wine preferences, recent travel adventures, family milestones and charitable causes important to your client.
Also, ensure your team receives a basic profile of each client. They should know all the pertinent details of the client so that each interaction feel personal, welcoming and attentive.
8. Connect via Their Preferred Method of Contact
It’s important that you are available to connect with clients via a range of channels. Phone calls, emails, text messages, and appropriate social media direct messaging - you need to make yourself available across the key modes of communication that resonates best with your clients.
When onboarding a client or updating their profile details, always ascertain how they prefer to be communicated with. That way, you can ensure your connections are convenient and non-disruptive.
9. Plan Ahead for Any Upsells or Renewals
Pushy salespeople calling to upsell additional services, or emails marked “urgent” for contract renewals - these are quick ways to annoy, rush and frustrate your clients. Instead, plan a strategy that starts well before the cut-off dates - consider weeks, even months, before the window of opportunity closes.
Your plan here should involve an evaluation of the products and services the client uses, as well the current status of their goals and KPIs. Then aim to merge the two - How can you make your products and services align with these new or refine client goals?
10. Remember, Feedback is Gold
Getting feedback is one thing, but acting on it is quite another. There is no point getting feedback from your clients without an action plan to enhance the quality and remove obstacles.
Feedback is proof of what makes your company worth its weight in gold. Never assume you know what your client is thinking or that everything is just fine. Don't forget that your competitors are out to convince your clients that the grass is truly greener on the other side.
Keep in mind that during economic recessions, disgruntled and poorly serviced clients are more motivated to sever ties and take their book of business elsewhere. Is that ok with you?
Collecting and evaluating feedback is an invaluable process to mitigate attrition, negative word of mouth, and loss of revenue.
Feedback is live-data you can use to plan the next move of your business strategically. This will allow you to see the key commonalities and differences between your growth objectives and your client's need.
If you have any questions, get in touch. We enjoy helping companies discover if their current marketing strategy is positioned for attraction, retention, and growth.