As we publish this article, it is the middle of October. The trees are turning colors, the air is cooling, and we are starting to think about the holidays, family gatherings, and traditions. On a business level, we are thinking about holiday parties, client appreciation gifts, and reaching out to clients to say, “Thank You.” For many, this time of year is stressful, because it means more work.
However, does client relationship building need to be stressful during the holidays? What if the holiday season was an opportunity to build a foundation for year-long lasting relationships?
We hope you will follow the lead of our example below.
Imagine that you are the owner of a printing company that handles printing from business cards to large banners. In the past year, current customer revenue grew 20% and brand-new customer revenue grew 33% over the past year. Now the holidays are here, you want to show appreciation and strengthen your customer relationships both new and returning. So, you reached out to his CRM consultant to discuss ideas.
“This is not just about the holidays,” said the consultant. “This is about connecting with your customers no matter the time of year.” He recommended 3 actions to build lasting relationships with customers.
Connect with clients quarterly exclusive of sales and delivery times
You can adjust this for your style and business, but the concept is to know your client on a personally as that often leads to new business. How often you meet depends upon who the client is, their desires, and their reorder cycle. When you rate your clients by your criteria and you consider client preferences, you will know how often to connect with current clients.
Connecting with clients on a personal level expands their image of you and reduces the likelihood that you will be viewed as a commodity. Make sure you connect with your highest-ranked clients first and consider different outreach based on your criteria so that you can connect with all clients in one way or another.
Your time is limited, and you cannot spend the same time with everyone. Prioritize and automate outreach with your CRM to organize your personal connections so that everyone feels important.
Learn about customers on a personal level
The consultant reminded you that one of the main reasons people buy from you is because you value them as a person. He suggested that you and the sales team create 5 questions to ask each client. The consultant created the data fields in the CRM and the team was ready to go. The questions focused on family, hobbies, and interests and the sales team made it a priority to get to know customers on a personal level.
“Customers come to your company because you have a solution to a specific problem, but if you are only meeting that need, your relationship is strictly transactional. Going beyond the transaction is what builds customer loyalty”, said the consultant. As your sales team is meeting with prospects and customers, are they taking the time to learn about customers beyond their needs? If you asked your sales team, could they tell you the customer’s…… favorite sports, spouse’s name, hobbies, or family traditions?
As your sales team spends time with customers, their information can be recorded in your CRM so you can communicate meaningful and relevant messages throughout the year.
Even as you learn about your customer, it is impossible to remember every customer’s birthday, anniversary, and other life-changing moments. Using your CRM’s automation features, you can create messages and reminders with time-based triggers. For instance, you can send a happy holiday email at a certain time. Beyond the holidays, you can send an email to a customer for their birthday which is triggered by a birthday date field. Automation relieves you from the stress of remembering and makes the customer feel valued.
The holidays should not be stressful as you start thinking about customer engagement. Instead, use this holiday season as a way to lay the foundation for year-round customer engagement using your CRM.
If you are not using a CRM, now is the time to think about implementing a CRM before the new year. Schedule a demo of X2CRm and learn how X2CRM can be configured to your business goals and can be used to build long-lasting customers.