His face went white. His jaw dropped open and he hung his head low. I'd delivered a pretty shocking blow to Peter (not his real name).
I could tell he was mortified - he was angry and he was really upset. I momentarily felt a sense of guilt at having made him feel this way, however, knew it was for the good of his organisation and indeed him, too.
You see, Peter is the CEO of a large national chain of electrical retailers.
He'd heard my interview on BBC radio Coventry and Warwickshire in the week about price fixing in sales and how it destroys customer trust and loyalty - and severely jeopordises the long-term relationship with customers. Peter and I were meeting as he'd asked for my advice on some internal training issues but he was intrgiued as to whether I felt that they did anything that was jeopordising the long-term relationship of their customers.
Now, before I tell you what happened, let me dxplain that the most important part of the customer cycle is the part after the sale has been made. Because getting customers ios hard, so once you've got them, you need to nurture and look after them so that they will return to you agai and again AND act as a free marketing and publicity machine that recommends you to others. You've gone through all the hard work of data capture, following up prospects, running promotions and marketing to get customers - so it's important to keep hold of them. There are many benefits of working to preserve the long-term customer relationship, not least that you'll save money by reducing marketing costs to generate new customers.
We looked at the entire customer cycle that Peter's company has. He runs sales but doesn't let existing customers know; he was promotions but doesn't let existing customers have priority on when those promotions are; new customers get the very best discounts to tempt them in and existing customers aren't communicated with.
I delivered the shock news that he was doing nothing to preserve the long-term relationship with his customers and in fact was doing a very good job of keeping them away. There's a pretty straightforward calculation you can do if you know the value of your customer or the amount each customer costs you to attract. He calculated that through not engaging with existing customers, he was losing £530,769 each month. The amount it cost him to attract those customers.
What's the lesson? Well, no matter what your industry, no matter who your customers are, no matter what you sell - once you've got a customer, treat them like your only one; like a King; like a true VIP and demonstrate how much you value them and their custom. Take 10 minutes of your day out today to list all the things you can think of that will help build and maintain a relationship with your customers: a hand written "thank you " card; a purchase anniversary "thank you" with a discount; advanced notification of special offers and promotions; special discounts or promotions for existing customers that are better than ones for new customers; Christmas or religious festival cards... and remember, you and they are in it for the long run.
Member since: 6th June 2013
Jez Rose is an internationally renowned Behaviour Change Consultant, professional speaker, award-winning entrepreneur, author and media personality.
Despite being the “go-to” guy for memorable and behaviour-changing...