You have probably heard the well-worn phrase that “knowledge is power.” I think that’s wrong! Knowledge is just that – knowledge. Unless information is put it into action their is no power in it. Lets take the knowledge that you’ve collected on your best customers as an example. Assuming you have taken a great interest in your customers and collected a considerable amount of information about them, the power of that information or knowledge is only as effective as the action you’ve taken on it. Agreed?
But no one would go through the effort of collecting information if they are not going to use it right? Well people usually think they are going to use things they collect but sometimes simply don’t. Since I’m reeling off cliche phrases, let me throw in that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Typically when I go into a business with a rich customer relationship database, I’m surprised by how little action has been taken on that data, In those cases, I typically hear that the data was collected with the “intention” to use it to strengthen relationships with existing customers but that the staff “got too busy” keeping up with their day-to-day activities to maintain that hoped for regular contact. Worse yet, many business leaders I talk to do little to collect data in the first place.
Having heard these themes so many times, I finally decided to engage a business partnership that provides these “relationship management” services on behalf of extremely busy, well-intentioned business leaders and owners. Since this podcast and blog is about sharing ideas and not about selling products or services, I’ll simply mention the name of the business WOWful Connections and later give you a contact number, should you have additional interest in the resource. But I will use WOWful Connections as an example of what you can do in your business to strengthen the loyalty of your high value customers. Let’s start with what data you collect on those who you must retain. For example, do you know their…
Name, address, phone, email, fax
Date of Birth
Annualized customer value
Facebook page, Linked-In address
Partner/Children’s names and dates of birth
Family members interests
By no means is the above list of customer knowledge exhaustive Wowful Connections they are assisting business owners do far more comprehensive research on high value customers both by using traditional sources and on-line strategies).
As you assess your opportunities in customer knowledge acquisition, you might want to start with the question. “what don’t I know about that my high-value customers that I should and could easily know?” The next question, you may want to ask is “how would I know and respond to any significant positive or negative events that affect my customer?” For example, WOWful Connections deploys on-line alert methods and scans of blogs, Twitter, Linked-In and other social media posts of those select high value customers.
Most importantly, what are you doing with the information that you have obtained? How have you incorporated your customer knowledge into your ongoing outreach with those customers? Seth Godin once said “”The easiest thing is to react. The second easiest is to respond. But the hardest thing is to initiate.” With that in mind, are you regularly initiating contact with your existing high value customers in a way that reflects your understanding of their uniqueness? WOWful Connections is helping business leaders and owners economically connect with those high-value customer on a quarterly basis and in a personalized way.
So what step will you take this week? Will it be to collect and document customer information or to build a system to assure follow-up? For those who know their well-intentioned efforts for customer loyalty buiilding might get lost in the hectic nature of day-to-day business contacting WOWful Connections (888-711-4900) may be for you. For others, it’s important to do something to maintain the relationship and connection that exists between you and your most important customers. What step will you take?