One of the advantages of being a small business is that your customer base is probably small enough to make good communication and a personal touch relatively easy. Of course, this might mean yet more tasks to add to your endless all-round list, but they are really important to maintain profitability and grow your company. You’ll be well aware that what keeps customers and clients loyal is not just what they buy from you, but also how it is packaged and delivered to them, and what happens next.
A Few Tactics for the Personal Touch
Do you contact them to ask if they are happy with their purchase? Do you make a point of collecting dates of birth, so that you can send congratulatory cards or emails for landmark birthdays or even every year? If they haven’t divulged the information, you can often find out from social media sites.
If they pay on invoice, do they know and accept your terms, so that they will pay you on time? Do you include friendly, personal messages when you send an invoice? Do you email a helpful reminder when the due date is close? Communication is even more vital if the payment isn’t forthcoming when you expect it.
Fun and Usefulness
Staying in touch with your clients is helpful for other reasons too. Enjoying a joke while talking to them on the phone or meeting them at networking events and business functions can put fun and inspiration into your business life. You could ask them for feedback to help you make decisions about developing what you offer. Knowing their circumstances will also alert you to any potential risks of doing business with them.
Some Serious Homework
As well as communicating with them, it can be helpful to do some homework on how they are contributing to your bottom line. Businesses often profit more from some customer relationships than from others. Senior managers and directors need to be aware of where their profits come from so they can make the business decisions that will take the business forward.
It’s worth analysing your customer base to work out which ones bring you the most value so you can at least be sure of the relationships it will be important to nurture. Undertaking or assisting with this analysis is one of the ways that your outsourced bookkeepers could help you. Because nothing remains the same all the time, it’s worth making this a regular project at appropriate intervals.