14th November, 2023
When a new client signs on the dotted line, it’s the best feeling.
All that time, money and energy you put into landing them has paid off. But your job isn’t done — it’s just beginning.
For long-term business success, you must invest in and maintain positive customer relationships.
Why? They’ll be the ones who sing your praises far and wide, and retaining existing clients has the potential to increase profitability by 25%.
They can be described as processes and interactions you and your staff have with your clients, from negotiating contract terms to scheduling a service, troubleshooting issues or requesting payment.
They can also include complimentary resources or services you might offer, like consulting services or a customer help desk.
As a small business owner, you need to understand that building and maintaining positive client and customer relationships will be the foundation of your financial success.
Here’s how it can lead to loyalty and improve your bottom line:
To develop long-term, high-value relationships, find out what your clients need and expect from you.
How? Manage your customers workflows within the MYOB business management platform.
You can optimise their experience based on their preferences, and provide genuinely helpful solutions, for example with simple and easy communication of quotes, invoices, payments and reporting.
Customers and clients who feel recognised and valued by your business are more likely to tell their friends and family about you. According to KPMG’s Customer Loyalty Survey, when a customer is loyal to a brand:
At the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, employees are allowed up to $2000 to fix any guest problem – no questions asked.
For example, if a customer leaves their charger behind, an employee can send it on for free.
Also, the same logic could be applied to SME client services. Use a client’s error as a chance to go above and beyond to deliver exceptional service.
Happy and satisfied clients are more likely to stick around — and spend more.
The probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60-70% versus 5-20% for new customers.
Effective client service excellence is more than simply telling staff to maintain good client relationships.
It’s also about setting up systems and processes that will help you monitor and track client management.
However, some best practices for managing client relationships should underpin your decision-making around those systems and processes.
Start right by collaborating with your clients during the goal-setting process. Not only will you achieve far better results together, but it will also show that you put your client’s needs first.
Communication is key, so be proactive. Send clients regular updates and respond to any questions or concerns right away. When they feel out of the loop, it’s easy for them to see this lack of communication as you not caring.
Business relationships are reciprocal, which means your clients and customers will likely need to put in some work, too. But you can make it as easy as possible for them by using tools like templates and forms to gather the information you need.
Not all clients and customers will know what they need.
What they do know is they have a problem they’re struggling with, and they’ve chosen you to help them.
Put yourself in their shoes and suggest ways to address the pain points you can see.
Email has become the default way for many businesses to communicate with clients. But many clients and customers will appreciate the personal touch of a phone call, especially if they’re confused or frustrated.
Nobody likes making mistakes, but they do happen from time to time. The worst thing you can do is try to gloss over the situation out of fear that you’ll lose a customer. Step up to the plate, admit what went wrong – and how you plan to fix it.
When Adobe had an outage due to an issue with Amazon Web Services, it posted a tweet — before it started getting customer complaints.
The tweet contained a video of a puppy stampede to help lighten the mood. While some comments asked when things would be running again, most replies focused on the adorable puppies.
When you invest in client service excellence and put them first, you have a better chance of developing relationships with clients who are unwaveringly loyal.
Also, in the long term, this will reduce the need for constant lead generation, saving your business valuable time and resources.
We’re proud to announce that MYOB has successfully taken out Canstar Blue’s Most Satisfied Customer – Small Business Accounting Software 2023 award.
Our small business accounting software scored five stars for overall satisfaction and five stars in each category — value for money, reporting, ease of use, design, functionality, ease of integration and customer service.
Our customers are our world. A big thanks to all our customers for your continued loyalty and support. Read more about the award here.