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  Growing Client Value

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Growing Client Value

We live in a turbulent world, where no one, inclusive of politicians and  economists seem to know  what is happening tomorrow, let alone in three, six or 12 months. In fact the most accurate forecasters at the moment, it would seem, are the weathermen and ladies on our TV!

As business professionals, we need to appreciate and understand that business has to go on. Yes, businesses may purchase less than they have been, but purchase they will. To ensure that your business not only survives, but in fact grows in the current tough times, clients’ needs need to be understood and met, even more so. Those businesses that have consistently been able to understand their clients’ needs have developed a strong relationship that will see them through the tough times ahead.

Your Client Service Bank Account

The good news is that those businesses that have made an effort to build client loyalty through exceptional client service will find themselves at least partially insulated. They have a credit in their client experience account at the bank. In tough times people like to deal with businesses who have a genuine track record of caring or having gone that extra mile. Businesses that have been ignoring or otherwise abusing their clients will suffer now. Their client experience account will be overdrawn. Before they know it, red ink will flow!

To quote Don Peppers, co-founder of the Peppers and Rogers Group “Clients have memories. Their service experience today, if positive, will enhance their future value to your company, a critical consideration in an uncertain economy.”

Clients Rule – especially in an uncertain economy.

There are really three primary reasons for this, outlined below:

  1. Clients give you ‘growth’

What’s growth? The knowledge that even in the worst economic downturn, there will continue to be clients who will be spending. Some will pay a premium to remain with you, rather than incur the expense and inconvenience of moving to a competitor. Don’t focus on new business; rather focus on assisting those clients that are prepared to build the relationship.

  1. Client retention is a strategic capability.

In an uncertain economy, losing clients, especially good ones, is a huge cost to carry, as they will be very expensive to replace. The cost of retaining clients is proven to be less than 10% of the cost of acquiring new ones. Hence solidifying these relationships is a strategic capability based on Trust.

  1. Investments in client relationships may be made incrementally.

By prioritizing your limited client service resources against the subset of most valuable and most growable clients, spending may be refocused, driving retention and increasing revenues and profitability through specifically identified client segments and/or clients. 

So moving into 2010, the key message is that relationships based on trust become even more important than ever, given our economic challenges, both in SA and the world as a whole. It’s also important to understand that these uncertain times aren’t going to last forever. However the strength of the relationships that an organisation builds with its clients will endure and indeed gain in strength over time.


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email andrewc@rassa.co.za



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