Tag Archives: Customer Loyalty

It’s All About Relationships Part 4 – Marriage

4 Jun

Monday, June 4, 2012

You’ve met Mr. right. You’ve dated. You’ve proposed. Now, how do you sustain the relationship through til the ‘Golden Years’? In the same way a marriage takes a lot of work, so does a business relationship. It requires patience, understanding and compassion. (For this, I can claim extensive experience! Though I’ve only been married 6 years, I’ve learned a lot.)

Numerous external influences (i.e. children, in-laws, friends, etc. = competitors) will be at work throughout the lifetime of the relationship. So how do you ensure that you’lk keep your constituency? It comes down to maintaining customer loyalty.

Maintaining Customer Loyalty Through Customer Experience Management
One of my favorite college professors used to talk incessantly about what is now called Customer Experience Management or CEM. He totally believed in the power that relationships provide to the success of any enterprise. The more time I spend in public relations, I absolutely agree.

Non-profits especially carry a large burden because of their very nature. They survive on the generosity of individuals, charitable businesses and philanthropic organizations. Ensuring that their experiences at every touch point are positive — and rewarding — should be THE top priority.

Today’s business experiences happen not only in the office or storefront, but in the virtual world. According to Bain & Company’s report ‘Putting social media to work’, “customers who engage with companies over social media spend 20 percent to 40 percent more money with those companies than other customers.”


What does that mean for a non-profit organization? It means that to meet and interact with potential donors you have to have a presence in the social media-sphere. Not just a presence, but a personality, a purpose and a plan. According to the research, your donor are going to meet you online. So…

  • Create fangelists
  • Make social media platforms places where people feel comfortable coming and sharing
  • Run exciting campaigns to attract to constituents – contests, initiatives for donations, fundraising competitions
Customer Experience Management Also Means Customer Service
Also included in Customer Experience Management is customer service. It is 5 times more expensive to attract new clients than it is to retain the ones you already have. I know that in the non-profit world things don’t work the same as for-profit business, but the same principles apply. Every person who walks through your door or comes to an event or visits your website should receive the utmost customer service. If they feel unimpressed in the least, that’s it – you’ve probably lost them forever. People may approach you with an interest in the organization and not necessarily want to give yet. Have patience and offer them the same service you would a business sponsor or major gifts donor. I talk about customer service all the time with my clients because I realize its benefits on a regular basis.
 
***How do you know if you’re being successful? By completing regular SWOT analyses of touch points to see where you’ve excelled and what aspects you might have to re-evaluate. Always make sure what you’re doing is measurable so you can look back at trends and missed opportunities.***
Tracking Customer Experience Through Customer Relationships Management
It’s not only important to be on social media recruiting, but you have to track customer touch points through a Customer Relationship Management system. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a method of tracking customers and interactions with them for future reference. CRM systems for marketing purposes are used for things like:
  • Identify potential donors or influential fundraisers
  • Segmenting mailing lists by demographics, giving history, etc.
  • Recording all interactions whether phone calls, face-to-face meetings, social media, etc.
  • Analyzing customer data like giving history, fundraising dollars, participation, etc.
CRM platforms can be anything from Excel spreadsheets, databases, existing CRM platforms and any proprietary systems. By tracking the data, you sill be able to see and analyze trends.

Your turn: Do you use a CRM system to track interactions? If so, what do you use? What successful campaigns have you run on social media?

More from this series:

It’s All About Relationships – Meeting Mr./Miss Right
It’s All About Relationships – Courtship
It’s All About Relationships – The Proposal

Other related posts:

Customer Service and Its Place in the Public Relations Mix
Good Customer Service = Customer Loyalty

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Good Customer Service = Customer Loyalty

26 Oct

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Last week, I talked about the importance of customer service to your publicity. Now, let’s talk about customer service and how it pertains to customer loyalty.

“Customer loyalty matters, because selling more to current customers is easier and cheaper than finding and selling to new ones.” — Chintan Bharwada of MarketingProfs.com

Wouldn’t you prefer to do less work and sell more than have to work that much harder to secure new clientele? I would. And you should, too! It’s not only smart business, but efficient business as well.

Consider this:
1. Unless you give them some valid reason, your customers can just as easily patronize a competitor (or forgo the product/service altogether). Their willingness to return to you is only partly out of necessity.
2.  Cultivate relationships with clients you have determined to be “influential.” What I mean is, those customers that you have identified as loyal to your brand will be more likely to promote your business to friends and other contacts to whom you would not normally have access.
3. You have to exceed your customers’ expectations. Give them what they want and a little more…even if they don’t know they want/need it. Today, the bar is set higher because more and more business owners are realizing the importance of customer service and how it plays into their bottom line. You have to be better than good; be outstanding!
4.  It’s small and seems obvious while talking about customer loyalty, but offering some sort of a loyalty program can go a long way as long as you make sure the reward is something the customer really wants or needs.

There are truly endless ways to offer customer service to preserve customer loyalty. It should be an everyday practice…should become like second-nature. I challenge you to try it and just wait for the positive results. You’ll be happy you did. If you’d like more advice on offering good customer service or how to better market your business, contact me. I would love to hear from you. Best of luck.

~Laura~

***You still have some time to take advantage of the new client promotion… 5 days, anyway. Check out the “Services” page for details. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!!***

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