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Relationship Marketing: 10 Tips for Keeping Clients Happy

You've probably heard the saying "It's easier to keep an existing customer than to get a new one." Well, it's more than just a saying, it's true. That's why you want to take very good care of your current clients or customers and do whatever you can to give them lots of reasons and opportunity to buy from you over and over again. Who wants to constantly be out there pounding the pavement looking for new clients and customers? That's a lot of work. It's much easier to up-sell or cross-sell to people who already know and love you. Here are 10 tips you can use to put a successful Relationship Marketing program into place so you can reap the benefits for years to come.

#1 Create a customer database or file Whether you have many clients or customers or just a few, make sure you keep records with important details about them. These details may vary depending on your line of business, but they may include their purchase history, special dates such as their birthday or anniversary, family member names or their favorite restaurant or leisure activity. #2 Never take your customers for granted Your customers are the reason you are in business. Never assume they will always be there. Continue to earn their trust and show them you care and value their business.

#3 Show your appreciation Do little things to show how much you appreciate having them as a client. Send them a thank you card or token of appreciation. Do something nice for them. Sometimes its even as simple as just saying "thank you." #4 Stay in touch Find ways to stay in touch with your clients. Send out a regular newsletter. Clip and send them news articles about their industry or issues they are concerned about. Make regular telephone calls or send email. Send holiday cards. Use these tools to remind them you're still around and that you still care.

#5 Take an interest in them and their business Ask questions. Find out what their challenges are and see if you can help them. Show them you understand their business or their issues and you're interested in more than just their last purchase. #6 Serve them Make it a priority to go out of your way to provide services that truly deliver and make your customers' lives or their businesses better. Provide great customer service. Do whatever you can to help them achieve their goals. #7 Give extra value Exceed expectations. Give more than your clients are expecting so they are dazzled and anxious to work with you more. Act as if their business is your business and their problems are your problems and help them any way you can. #8 Ask them what else you can do for them Find out how else you can serve them.

Other products or services you might be able to provide to help them reach their goals and be more successful. Take an interest in looking beyond your last sale into how you can help them even more. #9 Be responsive Always respond in a timely manner to your clients. Get back to them quickly when they have a question or need help. Return phone calls and emails promptly. Be on time, or better yet, be early for meetings and appointments. Being responsive tells your clients you think they are important and that you respect them and their time. #10 Make things easy for them Always be looking for ways you can make things easier for them. If you meet with clients in person, go to them instead of always making them come to you. Make it easy for them to use your services or buy your products in ways that are convenient for them.

Give them options and choices. If you put these steps into action, I promise you your customer relationships will be strong. And, when you make your customer relationships your top priority you'll be rewarded with long-term, profitable clients. (C) Copyright 2005 Debbie LaChusa.


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