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Topics Covered: <a href='/resources/search/?query=client service'>client service</a>
Sales Strategy
Nov 9, 2017 | Canadian Professional Sales Association

As the old business adage goes, it’s cheaper to retain a customer than to get a new one. This is especially true in enterprise sales, where the sales cycle is long and losing one client has the potential to bankrupt a business.

What can you do to make sure that your organization doesn’t succumb to this fate? Develop client-focused solutions!

We’ve outlined five ways that you can build loyalty and retain your customers through client-focused solutions.

Partner with Clients to Develop Improved Products and Services

One the ways that you can build loyalty with a client is to show them that you’re listening by working with them directly on new initiatives or services. You can get your top clients involved with a beta program, where they have the ability to test new products and provide feedback. If you aren’t able to involve clients in testing new products or solutions, you could survey them to ask for their feedback, or you could have an onsite meeting where you work with the client to develop a specific new solution. Involving your clients in the development process makes them feel valued, which leads to greater loyalty.

Make Customer Preferences a Priority

Another step toward developing loyalty through client-focused solutions is to make customer preferences a priority. Depending on the type of client you have, it may make sense to prioritize certain clients’ preferences over others. For instance, if you have four clients that account for over half of your revenue, it makes sense to prioritize those customers’ preferences. If you have one client that is industry-leading and innovative, it may make sense to prioritize that client’s needs as well. Your organization will always need to make difficult decisions about what to develop when, and focusing on your most important customers is the easiest way to make those decisions.

Take Your Customer Service up a Notch

Customer service is one of the most obvious, but most difficult areas to develop to build loyalty. Your clients often access customer service when they have an issue, making it more difficult to make the experience positive. However, by providing timely, informative, and thoughtful service, you can turn a negative experience into a positive one. Start by making sure that your clients have access to a human being rather than an automated service for support. You could also make sure that customer service is available in their time zone, that your staff is well trained, and that you have a playbook of how to handle specific questions or concerns.

Gather Customer Information

You can’t manage what you don’t measure, which means that to manage a client relationship, you should gather information and get to know your customers. Map out your entire value chain, talk to your customers, gather information on the broader market, and get a measure of customer satisfaction in various areas. Ensure that you have a system where this information can be stored and analyzed, such as a CRM.

Develop and Use Customer Profiles

Once you have the data, you need to use it. Create customer profiles, distribute the information through the organization, and implement solutions based on the findings. For instance, you may find that you have four different customer profiles, and each requires different analytics around the solutions you provide. You could implement a series of dashboards the fit the needs of each customer profile. You may also find that you need to adjust your sales process to address a different group of users. It takes time and effort to implement the findings from your data, so set objectives and prioritize the changes that will have the most impact.

Client-focused solutions will help you create better products and services, and they will help you tighten your relationship with customers.

Interested in learning more about retaining your clients? Check out our Strategic Account Management course to learn how to maximize managing multiple accounts and strengthen client retention. 

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