How well do you know your customers? Can you reach them in a way that your competitors can’t? 97 per cent of SMEs say customer engagement is essential to their business, nevertheless many don’t have the tools to understand and connect with their customers effectively. Here we explore secrets to achieving profitable customer relationships that drive loyalty and repeat business…

With 54 per cent of consumers willing to pay more money for a better service, all you need is the insights to better understand your customer needs to provide excellent customer service and achieve faster customer response.

The benefits of cultivating customer relationships…

Increased profitability

Ongoing and meaningful customer engagement across all channels can result in long term customer commitment and loyalty – which is key to growth and success of your business. According to Experian, 5 per cent increase in customer loyalty can translate into a 75 per cent increase in profitability.

Enhanced business reputation

By using technology that gives you a complete view of a customer, it is much easier to provide a personalised service, leading to greater brand loyalty. About 40 per cent of customers start buying from a company because of its reputation for great service, a study recently found. Added to this, more than half continue to buy after great customer experiences.

Increased customer satisfaction

According to Forrester, three quarters of customers use three or more channels when interacting with an organisation. This includes email, website, mobile devices and social media. Consequently, supporting multi-channel customer service with knowledgeable staff with access to real-time customer insight can improve customer satisfaction by 36 per cent.

Sustainable Growth

Research shows customers who had the best past experiences spend 140 per cent more compared to those who had the poorest past experience. Consequently, quality service can help you expand your client base and stand out of the crowd, as a result boosting your business growth.

How to achieve profitable customer relationships

Get to know them

An in-depth understanding of who your customers are, what they need and how they interact with your company is extremely important in building a customer-centric business. Assets like personas and journey maps can help you understand your customers better, allowing you to create better experiences at every step of their customer journey.

Empower employees with the right tools

With the right tools you can build a more accurate picture of your customers to approach them with the right message at the right time. For example, Microsoft Dynamics CRM recognises your customers buying patterns and histories, suggesting opportunities for cross sell and upsell. As a result, with more relevant and timely offers you can improve conversion, win rates and customer satisfaction.

Apps like Skype for Business enable you to communicate regularly and efficiently with your colleagues and clients, wherever they are, reducing call and travelling costs. As a result, you can focus resources on what is the most important – business growth and profitability.

Understand your data

A study by Aimia, which runs the Nectar loyalty scheme, says 69 per cent of Britons are closing down accounts and subscriptions, and ‘unfriending’ companies because of poorly targeted communications. That is why you need to take advantage of your data!

Data analytics is the key to personalisation and in turn to gaining customer loyalty. Insight into your customers’ preferences and opinions can help you personalise your offering in line with their needs. For example, using your data, you should find the preferential times and ways to engage with your customers, as well as relevant content that drives engagement.

Now is the time to build loyal and profitable customer relationships. The first step is to understand your customer needs and here are the tools to help you.

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