Welcome to the second of our three-part series on Brand Complacency. In our first post "Employee Retention and Recruitment" we talked about how brand complacency can affect your employees and how to tackle the problem.
The focus of this week's article is on your clients. Whether you run a company, an organization or a charity, everyone needs to remain relevant to their clients, customers and long-time supporters to avoid the complacency trap.
Don't lose focus: 4 ways to stay sharp!
When it comes to remaining relevant whether it be to clients, customers or supporters, we want to highlight where things go wrong and how to spot these dangers.
It starts with avoiding the trap of 'complacency' - the silent killer in business.
1. Never underestimate your long-term clients
In the world of B2B (Business to Business) the length of time it takes to win over a new client, create great working relationships and retain long-term trust can be significant. It can also become the lifeblood for many companies. Moreover, a Harvard Business School study indicated that increasing customer retention rates by 5% could raise profits between 25-95%.
So with all this investment in time and effort, you would think that there would never be any chance of businesses becoming complacent about the value of their clients. Sadly, this does happen and the longer the working relationship, the more likely it is to happen.
Last but not least, looking after your existing customers is probably more critical and more cost-effective than finding new ones.
2. Keep your fan base alive and kicking
Quite often, the focus is based on winning 'new' clients during boardroom meetings with less time spent improving your market position with 'existing' clients. And while that might make perfect sense to directors and shareholders who want to see growth strategies taking shape, there is a danger of it being to the detriment of the service you already provide to your loyal and long-standing clients. We are not suggesting that winning over new clients is not essential; it is, of course, imperative. But it should never be at the cost of losing touch with your existing clients as that can result in your business effectively standing still.
3. Show them that you care
Are you as excited about bringing new ideas and improved working practices to existing clients as you are with potential new clients? You should be because you have already won their trust. One of the most effective ways of making your client happy (and turning them into brand advocates) is to be proactive. Even a simple email like this one can go a long way in keeping in touch and remaining relevant.
4. Never take your clients for granted
They will be on the radar of your competitors and a potential new target. And they will be happy to receive a more attentive offer of support than they could be receiving from you.
Value client loyalty. At your next board meeting, bring your most loyal clients to the top of the agenda and discuss ways in which you can improve the service that you deliver to them.
Can you be sure that they are aware of every aspect of your service offering?
A common mistake to make is assuming that your clients know everything about your brand and what it stands for.
Quite often, you will lose out on business for no other reason than a lack of knowledge from your clients about what you and your team's expertise can offer.
Never be shy in regularly connecting with your loyal clients - they will be reminded how much you appreciate them. They may also praise your proactive approach to helping them improve their own business. Especially if you do this with the same desire and passion, you demonstrated to win them over in the first place.
In summary, new client wins are exciting and can make you feel great about your company's achievements. But always make sure that the service you deliver to your existing clients remains your primary focus. If you do, they may well become your best advocate and help you win new business. This outcome is a win-win situation.
In our third and final 'Brand Complacency' post, we look at Market Positioning and Alignment.