Your clients are your biggest asset. Without a strong customer base, a business will fall apart. Although acquiring new customers is necessary for business growth, maintaining good relationships with your current customers is just as important. In fact, it costs organizations six to seven times more to attract a new client than it does to retain a current one. Understanding your clients’ needs and being able to meet their demands will give your business a competitive edge.
Knowing how your company fits into your clients’ overall goals is necessary for its success. This is especially true in the B2B space. Many businesses assume that their clients are seeking them out to solve a problem, but in reality they are seeking out businesses to “produce an outcome” for them. If businesses don’t know their role in client relationships, they run the risk of underperforming. Moreover, businesses need to be aware of their clients’ expectations and be flexible when those expectations change. Doing so will help to establish a trusting relationship between both parties. Clients will see companies that have a firm grasp of their pain points and goals as a strategic benefit for outdoing their own competition. Businesses are likely to retain and be recommended by clients to whom they provide value.
Improve Customer Service
Another reason to figure out your clients’ needs is so that your organization can offer them the best possible customer service. With customer service channels constantly evolving, it is imperative that businesses keep up with their clients’ preferences. A study conducted by HeyWire Business found that 52% of respondents preferred text messaging to their current means of customer service communication. Additionally, 53% of respondents aged 18 to 34 preferred electronic media (email, social media, text messaging, web chat, etc.) over traditional phone calls for customer service support. The wait time between a client’s question and the correct answer to that question is a major indicator of an organization’s commitment to customer service. An email response time survey conducted in 2014 by Jeff Toister of Toister Performance Solutions, Inc. found that customers expect an email response to their question within four hours. Additionally, social media experts Jay Baer, Jason Falls, Mark Schaefer, and Tom Webster performed research which concluded that 42% of customers using social media platforms as a customer service channel expect a response to their problem within an hour. Being available to clients whenever and wherever they need you is a key differentiator between your business and your competitors, as it makes clients feel valued.
How To Learn About Your Clients
By now it should be obvious that understanding your clients is critical for the health of your business, but how can you go about gaining meaningful insights? With data of course! Businesses should be proactively gathering data about their clients whenever possible. Check up on their social media pages to see what kinds of conversations people are having. Research your clients’ websites to learn more about them. Some mobile software tools enable field representatives to create custom forms for each individual client, allowing them to digitally collect, organize, and share in real-time whatever information is relevant for a particular client. Software with geo-tagged photo sharing capabilities aid in the data collection process because images are able to convey information when text alone doesn’t suffice. Ideally, the data that representatives collect in the field would be stored in the cloud so that managers and other members of the organization can access and analyze it any time.
By dissecting your clients’ needs, your organization will be more well-equipped to deliver offerings and customer service that are aligned with those needs. What’s more, knowing your customers enables your organization to create more targeted marketing strategies, maintain strong relationships with clients, and increase the lifetime value of clients. To gain more in-depth knowledge of this topic, be sure to download Repsly’s free Best Practice Guide for Understanding Your Customers.
Victoria is a Marketing Associate at Repsly, where she leads the company's P.R. and social media efforts. You can also catch her prepping for slew of exciting industry events. A New England native, Victoria has spent time living in Italy and traveling throughout Europe before settling back in Boston. When she's not planning her next trip, V is probably tasting wine or brushing up on her Italian.