Product differentiation is the edge in a competitive market. That being said, businesses still revolve around customer relationships. Long term success of a business relates to how quickly your customer moves up your loyalty ladder. This article is about converting your customers to die hard fans of your products and services. Watch your prospective customer climb up the loyalty ladder, becoming an advocate of your products and offerings.
The five strategies covered here are : How to >
a) Develop your core operations for a "Long Term" customer relationship.
Suppose you are designing a new product or service. Due to market pressures, you go ahead with the latest technologies in the industry, and end up first in delivering the product or service.
If your product does not please its customer base, even though you were the only one to provide such a service/product, you loose the edge you had . Thus making way for your competitor into the new segment of the market.
Here, if you do the homework properly, and build the product with lesser bugs, meeting long term expectations of your prospective customer-base, you are likely to sit on top of the market, with no other competitor eating into your market share.
b) Build marketing strategies to appease your "Existing Customers"
Your existing customers are your key to growth. It is far easier to sell a product or service to an existing customer, than to a new prospect.
Key to building strong customer base is in knowing your customer, their varying requirements, and getting their valuable feedback.
You should build strategies that highlight and nurture these areas, until you have strong systems/methods for each of these key areas. Customers take time to get used to promos and offers, and you should streamline such activities to get through this stage as quickly as possible, to reap the benefits of increased revenue from your existing customers. Believe me, offers that last for a fortnight are many a times more effective than those that last a month.
c) Create CRM solutions that would give you the "Edge"
Firstly, the question you should be asking yourself - Do I need a CRM? The answer to that involves:
If the answers lead you to - "Yes, I need a CRM. It's gonna help", then your thought should shift to how you would build one.
Many a times a custom solution available in the market would not fit into your needs. Why would you go for a software that does not go well with your existing platform or fails to integrate with your existing systems/data.
Since "you" have a better picture of your business, your staff, and your growth in the far and near future, it is upon you to identify the key areas that needs attention. Nurturing these would increase your efficiency, and/or delivery model.
I believe I'll soon add more under this section, as another article!
d) Sharpen your branding strategies adopting "Social Networking" in the marketing plan
Communication, as mentioned earlier is key to increased customer loyalty. Social Networking is a means of marketing, that is direct, rapid and many a time more effective. It's a way of keeping in touch with your customers/prospects, showing them you're active and very much alive.
It's one way of giving a business that personal touch.
e) "Mend" services and offerings effectively
You might already have a product or offering that has a healthy market share. If you think - "Yes, my job is done!", a competitor would soon walk away with your customer base.
You should work on improving your product performance. Mend your offering for better quality, robustness and reliability. Work on your product delivery, service and responsiveness.
Be flexible enough to re-model/re-design even your best product/offering, as it is the change and improvement that imbibes loyalty in your customers. It is when they realize that you strive to give them better than the best, they endorse your products, and advocate your services.
About the Author :
Sankar works as a Senior Software Engineer in Bobcares. He joined Bobcares back in April 2006. He loves grooming/mentoring people. During his free time, he listens to music, and enjoys singing..