Someone wise once said “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” and it is a line that many of us are all too familiar with. While there are many different types of people you should keep close in your life, the most important type of people you should keep close in the world of business are undoubtedly your customers.
There are many reasons why you should keep track of your customers, and an increasingly vast number of ways to do so. Technology has helped us to develop many different types of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, and this tech is getting more sophisticated (and perhaps expensive!) by the day. It is only right for you to wonder what the value of using such tools are before investing time and money into them.
Whether you are thinking about stepping into the world of CRM, or just plain wondering how valuable it can be to keep your customers close, we share the many intangible benefits that can eventually translate into tangible profits for your business:
Being at the right place, at the right time
Have a hard time closing your customers? Well, not everyone is ready to buy what you have to sell when you’re selling it. But that time will come. And you will want to be there when that happens.
Let’s face it – as much as people have been claiming that they are able to predict it, we will never truly know when our customers are ready to buy. Keeping your customers close and building a relationship with them can help to bridge this gap. Imagine knowing the ins and out of your customers’ buying patterns, when they might need something they did not think they would need, or even just being there to answer whatever questions they might have. This close proximity with them allows you to be present, be it physically or mentally, when they are ready to buy.
This is what we mean by being at the right place, at the right time. While money cannot buy this, organization and due diligence probably can.
Getting expert insight when you need it
Everyone plays a specific role in the company; There is the one who is in charge of operations, customer service staff who are needed on the frontline, the marketing person who puts the business out there, sales people to bring in accounts, et cetera. But not all businesses can afford to hire a professional in each aspect, especially lean startups and small businesses.
Keeping your customers close will allow you to gather data on them – from identity data, to descriptive data, and even to quantitative and qualitative data. This will help you to properly keep track of your customers, essentially giving you expert insight into each and everyone of your customers whenever you need them.
Imagine saving on the annual wage of hiring an in-house data analyst, now that is truly a good value.
Satisfied customers are priceless
By keeping your customers close and building a rapport with them, you will not only be able to add value to your working relationship but also keep them satisfied. When customers are happy with your product or service or company, they are not only likely to become repeat customers, but they are also more likely to talk about your business and recommend it to their friends.
That means free marketing for your company. “Word of Mouth” recommendations have been found to be the most influential information source consumers rely on when making a purchase decision. Studies have shown that up to 84% of consumers say that they trust products and/or services recommendation from friends, family and co-workers.
From getting repeat sales to new customers at the cost of nothing, we would say that keeping your customers close is truly invaluable at this point.
Whether it is the tangible value of saving on hiring one less expert or the intangible one of free marketing, keeping your customers close is indeed proving to be cost-effective and invaluable for your business. Remember, keep your friends close, and your customers closer.
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