In a previous blog, we discussed the different stages of the buyer journey. The final stage in this journey is converting leads into customers. It might seem that the journey ends there, but nothing is further from the truth. Now, it becomes your job to keep them happy. That’s the only way your customer will stick around!
It’s not hard at all for me to convince you why customer nurturing is so important. But… with a little help of some numbers, I’ll convince you even faster:
- 68% of customers leave a company because of the poor treatment they received*;
- It costs 6 to 7 times more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing customer*;
- Globally, the average value of one lost customer is €195*;
- The probability of selling to a new prospect is about 5-20%, whilst the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%*;
- News of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience*;
- 91% of unhappy customers will not do business with you again*;
- On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase*.
The numbers speak for themselves. You simply can’t afford to treat your customers badly. With customer nurturing, you keep them satisfied so they remain loyal to you and won’t shift to a competitor. Moreover, if you’re doing a really good job, satisfied customers will talk positively about your company, products and services. When the relationship is that good, you can even ask them to function as a reference for your company. While reference stories have been identified as the most valuable marketing trick, you’ll soon notice it’s all worth the effort. Read about it in our previous blog!
Okay, I can hear you think: “How do I start with customer nurturing? What are some tactics? Are there even tactics at all? What can I do exactly?” No worries! Just continue reading this blog and you will find out!
SMALL GESTURES HAVE A BIG IMPACT
Customer nurturing doesn’t have to be difficult. A simple gesture can do a lot. For instance, if your customer attends one of your events, make sure to send them a thank you email afterwards. Did you come across a client at a networking event or an exhibition? Send them a simple email or text message (depending on how your relationship is at that point) to let them know it was great seeing them there. It’ll make them feel appreciated.
BE A PERSON, NOT A BUSINESS
Communicate with your customers as you would do in real life. Many emails end with: “should you have any question, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org”. Who wants to talk to a department? No, let them talk to YOU. Instead say: “should you have any question, contact Bill from sales at email@example.com. Bill will be happy to help!” Or even better, end your email with your personal name and say they can contact you should they have any question. If you use an automation software, like SharpSpring, you send emails from a specific registered email address for both you and your team
GIVE YOUR CUSTOMERS THE OPPORTUNITY TO TALK BACK
Communication with your customers shouldn’t be a one-way-street. Always provide them with the opportunity to talk back. For instance, you send them a newsletter every month. Okay, great start. But why not involve them more? Why not, at some point, ask them what they think about your newsletters? Or let them share a story? Take a look at the following two situations:
Situation A: You send your customers a monthly newsletter that covers your product updates, interesting facts and flashbacks of conferences you attended. Your customers can be sure they will get your newsletter in their inbox every month.
Situation B: You monthly send your customers a newsletter. With that newsletter, you inform them about product updates and fun facts. You also give your customers a voice. The newsletter has a clear CTA to inform your clients they can share their stories with you. The best input will be placed in the next newsletter! Maybe the winner even receives a price!
In which situation do you think your customers will feel most engaged with your company? You’re messing with me if you say situation A!
Okay, you don’t send out newsletters? And you don’t have the time to do so? No problem! There are other ways to give your customers a voice. Let’s take social media for instance. I’m sure you all have at least one social media channel, right? If not, it’s time to create one! If you’re not active on social media, your company simply doesn’t exist. Okay, back to nurturing customers through your social media channels. Monitor them well. If someone asks you a question, give them a clear answer. If someone has a complaint, take it seriously and provide them with a solution. If people see that you’re active on social media, they are more likely to communicate with you through social media. You also don’t have to be afraid of negative reactions or complaints on your account. Studies have found that customers perceive companies that also have negative feedback on their social media account as more credible than companies that only show positive reviews.
Aren’t your customers that chatty? Ask them directly for their opinion. Did you host an event? Or did you send them a series of emails to update them about something? Send them a request to fill out a survey. Communicate to them that you’d love to hear their opinion because it gives you the opportunity to do even better for them the next time.
DON’T LET USEFUL INFORMATION GO TO WASTE
Did you have a call with one of your customers? Did they mention something personal? Or some insiders about their company? Log that information in your CRM tool. The next time you hear from them, you can ask something about it. Imagine the roles being reversed. You’re on the phone with your supplier and you mention that you’re going on a holiday in a couple of days. A few weeks later, you’re on the phone with your supplier again, and he asks how your vacation went. Wouldn’t there automatically appear a smile on your face? It’ll give you the feeling that you’re important because he remembered that.
To nurture your customers, it clearly is important to not only communicate with them to close a deal. Give them a voice and communicate with them as you would do in real life. You can use your social media channels, surveys, emails and so on.
So with that said, let’s take our own advice into account. We’re sure there are a dozen more ways to nurture your customers. How do you nurture your customers? Share it below!