Building and maintaining relationships with customers and prospects is just as important as closing the deal. Why? The answer is customer experience.
The customer experience is what leads customers to refer business your way. Those referrals are more important than any other type of lead generation. According to a 2016 Nielsen study, “82% of Americans say they seek recommendations from friends and family when considering a purchase.” According to Nielsen “Referrals don’t just help us make decisions. Often times, they’re the primary driver of them.” Creating a personalized experience for customers is of the utmost importance. Each customer wants to feel like their business is not only wanted, but needed, so your post-sale client relationship should be customer driven through customization and proactive communication.
Take direct mailers or client gifts – also known as ‘swag’ – for instance. How often do you send them? Do you send them at all? This type of marketing is likely not on the top of your priority list, but it should be. Putting forth that extra effort can help you show clients that you are thinking of them. Sending them a gift they’ll actually enjoy is even more important (not just branded coffee mugs and mouse pads. Side note – does anyone even use a real mouse anymore??).
Choose the Right Swag
Find options that are useful, thoughtful and relevant for your clients. The goal should be to stand out for the nice gesture, not for the obscure one. Communication is key. Check in regularly. Find out what is and what isn’t working for clients and prospects and adjust accordingly. Link your swag to exciting company updates and trends, keeping your name and company logo regularly in front of them to stay top of mind.
Provide Out Of The Box Value
Find unique ways to think outside of box and provide unexpected value to your clients and prospects. Be an “expert” in your space by offering tools, insight and tips that are complementary to your product or service. For example, if you come across a great tool that helps track social media presence and reach, share it with your clients and prospects as a nice way to say “I’m thinking about your company’s success.”
Become The Go-To-Person
You’ve proven that your product provides value to your client and you’ve shown them that you’re willing to go above and beyond to help their business succeed by offering insight to other tools they might find useful. You’re building a relationship with your client that goes beyond selling them a product or service they need, you’re proving to them that you are a champion of their business as much as you are a champion of selling them yours.
If you’ve maintained a consistent relationship with your buyers over time, they’ll trust you, and they appreciate your dedication to making and keeping them happy. When their contract expires or when they decide to “restructure their budget,” instead of shopping around for potentially better or more budget-friendly options, you have created not only brand loyalty, but personal loyalty that will supersede any desire to find out if the grass truly is greener on the other side – you’ve established that the grass is the perfect shade of green right here.