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Know your customers – hints for businesses… and politicians!

Well I don’t think anyone expected that! Here’s a key observation: know your customers.

Whatever Theresa May’s reasons were for calling the election, she clearly expected to win. She was so far ahead in the polls it was assumed by everyone at the start of the campaign that she would increase her majority. The only question was how by how much?  So, in a brief diversion from my planned articles on Brexit I want to explore whether there are lessons for business owners in what happened in the election?

I think there are several but I would like to focus on just one:

  • Don’t take your customers for granted – various actions, including not appearing in the TV debates, led many voters to believe they were being taken for granted.

Financial institutions are bound by a set of regulations called Know Your Customer (KYC). These regulations are really about making sure new customers are who they say they are in order to help prevent money laundering and other financial crimes. For most businesses truly knowing our customers is extremely important in order to ensure we retain their business. Here at Steadcross we have found that many new clients either don’t know who their previous customers are or haven’t been in contact with them since their last purchase (which in some cases is several years).

It doesn’t matter what you sell, it is always worth making sure that you keep in touch with your existing customers, subject of course to keeping on the right side of data protection. If your customer feels valued and special they are much more likely to buy from you again in the future. Even if they aren’t in a position to buy from you themselves they are much more likely to recommend you to their contacts.

Keeping in touch with your customers can take various forms, depending on the nature of your business and your customer base. It might include:

  1. Proactively contacting them a set period after a purchase to check everything is ok
  2. Repeating this contact at regular intervals (say annually)
  3. Sharing good news stories of other customers who have bought your goods / services (with their permission of course)
  4. Informing previous customers of new developments within your business

None of the above activities can be considered as selling, though points 3 and 4 might be considered as marketing. The all contribute to keeping a strong relationship in place and help to ensure that when the do need to buy something which you can supply it is you they turn to first. We have a word for this at Steadcross, ‘cominginness’.

 

Ian Roberts

Director, Steadcross

Ian.roberts@steadcross.com

 

We offer our clients a full range of business development services tailored to your needs. This can include making sure that your existing customers are contacted regularly and made to feel valued.

 

Visit http://steadcross.com/category/opinion/ for more articles.

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