How to Establish Long Term Relationships With Customers

Copyright (c) 2009 Alan Gillies

The period when businesses would attempt to force customers to buy their products and services is part of the past now. In today's market, the sale is just the first part of a potential lifetime relationship with each and every customer. The movement from selling being considered to be an 'end' to a 'beginning' has been hard for businesses everywhere; but presently, this process has brought about a much better customer experience for people around the world.

In the wake of discovering new strategies to keep their businesses growing, organisations have found follow-up and after sales service to be influential methods for securing loyalty. Keeping track of customers and performing simple courtesies, like sending a 'thank you' or a 'birthday card' have become a common exercise. 

Such gestures instantly strike a chord with customers and establish a feeling of belongingness. It's therefore no surprise that this tactic has become quite successful. So in our present market, the sale itself has become merely the beginning. This is vitally important, because the cost of retaining a customer is considerably less than the expense paid out to acquire a new one.

Companies who view selling as a beginning are the ones truly capable of dominating the market, and those which move along previously established paths - will be inevitably weeded out. Beginning with the sale, businesses shower rewards on both the customers and their companies. Besides the unmistakeable benefits for the customers, the companies get feedback on the services they deliver. 

This can be further applied by incorporating this information into future projects. The 'after sales service' is much appreciated by customers, as they tend to see this effort as an act of gratitude. 

Because of this, customers don't have to do much homework before buying an article, as they know that their grievances will be addressed properly if the product is faulty. Companies also profit from not having the expense of unclear advertising activities in order to pull in new customers, and presently, these businesses can be quite a bit more specific with their advertising approaches.

Technology and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) have crept into this aspect of advertising. With these systems there are various software applications that help with the maintenance of the huge databases which are updated in 'real time' with the developments occurring in the purchase patterns of every customer.

The crux of the matter is that selling has to be viewed as a 'beginning' and never an 'end', and if intelligently applied, this idea will take any company a very long way toward acquiring a larger piece of the market share.

Alan Gillies is the Managing Director of the L2L Group, specialising in providing Executive Coaching, Training and Consultancy Services to Businesses across the Globe. Want to learn more about these business success strategies? Get Alan's popular FREE Business Pack today!