Archive for the ‘Client Relations’ Category

Taking a Long View of B2B Customer Relationship Management

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

Customer relations is a crucial aspect of any business strategy. And for good reason. Amy Gallo of Harvard Business Review writes, “Depending on which study you believe, and what industry you’re in, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.” The importance of customer relations is especially true in the B2B context. Typically, B2B companies are working with a smaller pool of customers than B2C companies, and each customer, therefore, makes up a larger share of revenue.

McDonald’s doesn’t want to lose customers, but it’s a lot less painful for McDonald’s to lose a customer than for Boeing to lose one. Similarly, many businesses serve both consumers and businesses. Consider a rental car or hotel company. They obviously have many individual consumer customers, but they also serve large organizations, such as corporations with staff who travel regularly.

So how do you maintain those crucial strong relationships with B2B customers? Here are some tips. (more…)

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How Well Are You Realistically Managing Customer Expectations?

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

Copyright: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_georgerudy'>georgerudy / 123RF Stock Photo</a>A frequently quoted “formula” in the field of customer relations tells us: “expectations – reality = disappointment.” While this may seem simplistic, don’t relegate it to the ranks of witty sayings or bumper sticker slogans. There is a great deal of truth in this straightforward equation. Most business owners, managers and customer-facing employees have dealt with unhappy customers. It’s part of the job. But all too often, that customer frustration or disappointment can be avoided by properly managing expectations. (more…)

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They Might Come Back: Why It Pays to Treat Exiting Customers Well   

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

38309393 - group of different families together of all racesNo company retains every customer they do business with. There is a natural ebb and flow of customers over time, whether your company provides a product or a service. Understanding that ebb and flow is important. Calculating the lifetime value of your customers, anticipating potential losses and determining how much time and effort to spend on prospecting for new customers are all very important elements of running any business. (more…)

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Do You Know When—And Why—Your Customers Have Left You?

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Every business will gain and lose customers over the course of the business’s lifetime. Of course the hope is that there will be more gains than losses; however, sometimes businesses find themselves in the opposite situation and struggle to understand why their customers are leaving. While creative companies could come up with a myriad of creative and complex metrics and measurement techniques to try to gain some insights, one of the best ways to determine why customers are lost is to ask them! (more…)

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Best Practices in Handling the Loss of a Customer

Friday, April 14th, 2017

No business enjoys losing customers. But for some businesses, it’s a lot more damaging than for others. A grocery store, for example, can withstand a single customer going over to a competitor, possibly without noticing any business impact. But a food distributor serving eight grocery stores is going to feel some real pain if one of those stores takes its business elsewhere. For some industries comprised of small markets of large consumers, there may be a limited pool of candidates to replace a lost customer, and often the question is, “can we get them back?” Well, it’s certainly not easy. Leaving a B2B relationship is costly for both companies because the customer has to spend time and money finding a replacement vendor as well as a lot of effort adjusting its business processes to work with a new partner. Consequently, they won’t be eager to switch back just like that. But in the long run, it is possible to win back a lost customer. (more…)

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Cultivating Customer References in a B2B Environment

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Most of us understand the value of positive customer reviews. Especially in the world of online retail, a positive product rating on Amazon can represent a big boost to sales. Data suggests that roughly 90 percent of Amazon users believe positive reviews influence their purchase decisions, while 86 percent say the same of negative reviews. (more…)

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You’re Fired! It Works for Customers Too.

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

I love customers mug

Sometimes clichés can become so pervasive that we fail to think critically about their meaning or the full implications of the statement. A classic example in business, generally, and customer service, specifically, is “the customer is always right.” To state the obvious, the rationale is that no matter how difficult, rude and unreasonable a customer may be, that customer is paying the bills — and you should do whatever it takes to make that customer happy. (more…)

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Beyond Bribery: Building Customer Relationships Through Engagement

Monday, January 9th, 2017

38309393 - group of different families together of all races

It’s hard to overstate the importance of brand loyalty. Marketers know how difficult it can be to win new customers. Once you have brought a new consumer into the fold, it’s important to take steps to ensure that they will not only keep coming back, but that they will also refer others to you. (more…)

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Managing B2B Vendor Relationships

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Some of the most important partnerships for any business are its vendor relationships. Business-to-business (B2B) vendor partnerships allow the purchasing business to shexecuting your strategic plan, strategic planning, strategic communicationore up its deficiencies by outsourcing certain business functions to organizations with greater expertise. This avoids the time and effort required to develop the necessary infrastructure, staff and expertise internally.

The obvious downsides of using vendors include out-of-pocket costs and potential lack of control over vendor operations. This lack of transparency and control can and frequently does result in conflict in those crucial B2B relationships. (more…)

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