Many companies are so keen to attract new business that they can neglect their existing customers. That's certainly how I feel (neglected, that is) after banking with the same bank for 20 years and discovering that new customers are getting a much better deal than me. Loyalty is important to me but not to all companies it seems. Yet existing customers are contributing to your bottom line; you don't need to expend time and energy getting them to buy – they are already committed buyers.
Provided, that is, you continue to provide them with a good service. If not you might find those loyal customers are not so loyal. Delivering good customer service creates satisfied customers who are loyal so why wouldn't any business want to work hard on customer satisfaction. Yet too often it feels just like a process a company goes through to tick a box. My pet hate is when companies send out customer satisfaction surveys by email but I can't get hold of them on the phone if I have a problem or request.
So creating loyal customers is essential if you want good levels of customer satisfaction. All of a company's processes should consider customer satisfaction right from the initial sales process to regular repeat orders.
Do you track how many customers you lose when repeat business was an option? Analyse your data and make sure you understand why some customers never come back or why some become actively dissatisfied. But that doesn’t mean just asking for feedback – most people are overwhelmed by feedback requests and no feedback doesn't necessarily equate with customer dissatisfaction.
Adding Value as a Trusted Advisor
For B2B businesses it is more important than ever to add value to potential customers. With so much information available online it is no longer enough to tell potential customers about something they can find out themselves. Buyers are now looking for that extra information that can help them make an informed choice when it comes to purchasing.
Of course, a sales team should build relationships with buyers but don't neglect the importance of adding value especially in your sales training courses. You need you sales team to have a high quality relationship with customers – one more akin to a trusted advisor.
Trust Should Extend Throughout the Organisation
When your sales people have worked hard to build a valuable, trusted relationship with a customer it is essential that all employees with a customer facing role understand the importance of each customer. This is where your CRM system can help if it is properly maintained.
Know How To Recognise a Lost Cause
Nobody wants to be pestered by a salesperson so it is also key that every member of a sales team knows how to recognise a prospect that is simply not interested in buying. There quickest way to destroy customer satisfaction is to persistently try and sell something to someone that they don't want or need. Again so simple feedback and a useful CRM system can help identify the sales pipelines to drop before they turn previously satisfied customers into dissatisfied ones.