What Your Staff Needs to Know When Dealing with Clients
Following are some ideas that any business should consider when designing policies and procedures to deal with customers/clients.
- Clients are not transactions!
- Build relationships INTO your policies & procedures!
- Transaction density is just as important as transaction intensity!
- What is your "share of life?"
- Building relationships and margin through attitude!
- Margin increases over a lifetime!
- Customer loyalty results from relationships!
- "Lifetime value systems" increase barriers to switching!
- Lifetime value systems create leverage for employees!
- Client Lifetime Value means "money for nothing!"
While transactions are important, when we confuse transactions and customers we lose the leverage of the customer relationship.
When we design an organization, we need to consider how our policies and procedures will ALLOW our employees to build client relationships.
The more you can "do" for your clients, the greater number of products and services they may purchase from your firm. If you increase the number of options for them each time they use your services, the likelihood remains that they will purchase or use your services in greater depth each time they purchase.
Throughout the lifetime of your clients, you will have the opportunity to share your services with them. To the extent this sharing is beneficial to both parties will indicate the level of share you have the opportunity to gain. Over the course of this sharing, your services will gain a percentage of total sales in that category of your customer's purchasing life. This is your "share of life."
Indirect benefits of handling your customers as if their total purchasing lifetime matters is the ATTITUDE of your enterprise. Even if customers never return or purchase another thing, they remember and pass on to others that attitude.
Studies have shown that over a lifetime of a client relationship, that profits increase due to lower costs of acquisition and maintenance in the relationship.
Word of mouth advertising constitutes roughly 55% of your total impressions that bring customers to your business. As customer loyalty increases along with lifetime value and share of life, the ability of your firm to attract and maintain its client base increases customer loyalty.
The greater the relationship that exists between your firm and your clients, the more your clients are invested in your business. This investment increases the "switching cost" of your customers to move to another brand or service provider. Due to the simple attitude your firm develops regarding "customer lifetime value," your clients are "encouraged and attracted" to doing even more business with you because it is easier than training a new service provider to serve them as well.
When your employees understand the concept of client lifetime value, they find it much easier to deal with problems associated with client relationships. Instead of dealing with the moment they deal with the moment in the context of the lifetime value relationship!
The sheer force of a client relationship produces benefits to the business through increased margin and benefits to the client through innovative ways to meet needs. This perspective is win-win and offers momentum to the relationship that creates opportunity for everyone involved!