Customer intimacy as competitive advantage for the further growth and profit of your company
For a start, it feels good to believe you have satisfied customers, doesn’t it? But that in itself is not sufficient to ensure the further growth of your company. Satisfied customers have positive feelings towards your company, but they also look and shop elsewhere. They are not won forever. They can walk away from you at any point in time, looking out for other options, or being won for something else. Sometimes they may even go for worse alternatives, which on top of that, give them an even better feeling, based on highly subjective criteria.
If you think you cannot do anything about this, don’t continue reading. If you would like to find out how to have an impact on this matter, go on reading.
What is customer intimacy about?
Customer intimacy goes much further than having a database of satisfied customers. Customer intimacy is about setting up close cooperation with your customers (share information, give personal advice, organize training, etc), and taking responsibility for their results. For this to work in its initial stage, the customer service team must have an excellent script to follow as to retain customers. Which is why many companies have begun to follow the Salesforce script relating to call centre, as it has shown effective results over the years. In other words, in order to become customer intimate, you will have to develop a win-win relationship with your customers.
As a company, what should you do, to embark on the rewarding path of customer intimacy?
- Set up cooperative partnerships with your customers and take responsibility for their results. Do not only supply products or services to your customers, but also help them grow their business, e.g. by integrating them into your own business operations. This requires some creative and disruptive out of the box thinking, which can over time even lead to new product offerings or solutions.
- Consider your customer’s problem as your own problem. By doing this, you develop an open mindset that will allow you to build a trustful relationship and to generate measurable business results for both parties.
- Run your company as if it were a small company. Know your customers, and personalize everything you do. Make each customer feel different, make each customer feel unique.
Why should you do so?
A few figures may convince you:
- On average, it costs five times more to attract new customers than to retain existing ones. And within your existing customer base, 80% of your sales is usually reached thanks to 20% of your customers.
- Happy customers tell four or five other people about their positive experiences of doing business with your company. Dissatisfied customers communicate about their bad experiences to a multitude of that number. Unfortunately, only one out of 25 unhappy customers will tell you personally about their dissatisfaction.
- Over 65% of customers who changed suppliers say they did not look for other options because of product feature issues, quality or service reasons. They quit for the single reason of being ignored.