The cost of a great relationship

By joanne | 8th August | Marketing Ideas, Marketing Skills, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Training

Reciprocity is a powerful thing and it can take years to build up a great relationship with someone.  It’s power is that people with whom you have a good relationship generally recommend you, use your services time and again, give you testimonials and actually care about you and your business.

Like I said…the holy grail.

But some of us take those relationships for granted… at our peril.

Take an example a friend shared with me last night – she met an insurance broker a few years ago whom she liked and their company now looks after all of her business.  She has never in that time shopped around for insurance, or used comparison sites.  A few months ago, she was due for renewal and at the same time, she realised it was the broker’s daughter’s birthday.  So she sent a personal email wishing her Happy Birthday and mentioning her renewal needs, but she didn’t receive a reply.  Her renewal papers came from someone she didn’t know.  And now she’s considering shopping around.

There could be a really great reason the email wasn’t answered – the broker could have been away / ill / might have left the company / it may have been answered by another member of staff who didn’t realise the depth of the relationship.  But whatever the reason, the relationship has been damaged.  And it’s been proven that 67% of customers leave because of ‘perceived indifference’ – they think we don’t care.

According to a report ‘Loyalty: A prescription for cutting costs’ by Fred Reichheld of Bain & Company, in the financial services sector a 5% increase in customer retention produces more than a 25% increase in profit.

It’s time we realised that people think they’re important – and they are.  We need to treat all of our customers,  introducers and suppliers as individuals and respond to them and their family in a way that shows we care and that we’re grateful for their business.  It’s hard work – of course – but it’s easier than continually finding new customers!

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