Put your customers at the heart of your business strategy

Put your customers at the heart of your business strategy

Not only do Get Ahead VA help with the day-to-day administration tasks in your business, we also help with big picture advice on marketing and strategy.  As Regional Director for Essex, as well as Suffolk; Sarah Yandell has many years of experience in running successful businesses and is particularly passionate about delivering excellent customer service.  Together with her team, she is able to support businesses in Essex to excel in what they do best and build a loyal following of customers.

Looking after customers is important for any business, and although using your marketing strategy to attract new customers is important, your existing customers are in fact more valuable to your business than your new ones. This is because an existing customer already knows and trusts your brand and is highly likely to buy from you again. It is also a lot more cost-effective to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one.

Why is a customer-focused strategy important?

By using a customer-focused strategy, you can ensure that customers continue to buy from you, and also recommend your product or service to others. Some business owners fall into the trap of creating a business-focused strategy, where the bottom line is more important than the customer experience. However, by getting your customer strategy right, your business will not only grow but grow in a sustainable way.

Which customers should I target?

In order to maximise the return from existing customers, you need to find the customers that count. All customers are not equal.  Some of them are a lot more valuable than others and they are the ones whom you should be targeting. For most businesses, 80% of the profit comes from 20% of the customers.

A good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system will help you identify this all-important 20%, by showing you what stage your customers are at in the customer lifecycle.  Your most profitable customers are your core customers and their requirements and expectations should drive your strategy.

What is a core customer?

All customers start as prospects – people who are aware of your products but who haven’t yet made up their minds to buy. Those that actually make a purchase become first-time buyers and if they come back again, they become early-repeat buyers. Once they are buying from you regularly and spending the most overall (not per item) they have become your core customers. Your core customers are the ones who show they trust you and know that you will provide them with products or services that they want.

How can I nurture customer loyalty?

It is important to nurture core customers to retain their loyalty.  Many business owners generate a degree of loyalty through marketing campaigns and loyalty programmes.  However, this drives only behavioural loyalty, and the customer may well still defect to a competitor with a more attractive price.

Better than behavioural loyalty is attitudinal loyalty: an emotional bond based on respect and trust.  You know you have achieved this when your customer shouts about how good you are and becomes a regular source of important referrals.  Attitudinal loyalty is achieved by building relationships with your customers, really embedding them in your brand culture. The way you approach this depends on your business, but however you do it, you’ll see that the right motivation yields the best results.

By understanding which customers to focus on, and by prioritising attitudinal loyalty, you can create a business strategy that will be both effective in the short-term and sustainable in the long-term.

Your own local Regional Director

Sarah has a hands-on approach to understanding the requirements of her clients to ensure that she finds the right virtual assistance for them.  Having had many years’ experience of managing and facilitating teams at all levels, she has a strategic approach to ensuring that the needs of the business are met.

To contact Sarah Yandell, Get Ahead Suffolk & Essex, call 01206 625535 or e-mail sarah@getaheadva.com