There's a reason why many consumers lament the closing of their local butcher- and it isn't necessarily due to missing the products.
Developing long term relationships between customers and companies has been a proven business model for decades, and increased competition in almost every field means knowing your client base is even more important now than ever before.
In the case of franchising, a knowledge of client's' requirements is crucial to develop trust and deliver customer satisfaction. It's all too easy for consumers to group franchises together as faceless corporations, but offering a personal approach and fostering long term relationships with clients will ultimately put you ahead of the competition.
The positives of knowing your client base are obvious: a deeper understanding of consumers needs and requirements allows you to adapt your business to deliver exactly what they want, and customer satisfaction will usually lead to increased traction and, importantly, repeat business. The numbers may vary, but we do know that gaining a new customer will cost at least five times as much as retaining an existing client.
A 2014 Australian study raises just how important customer satisfaction can be in monetary terms:
- Each year businesses lose up to $8 billion to poor customer service
- 53% of 16-34 year olds share their poor customer experiences online
- 58% of consumers will take their business elsewhere after inadequate service
- 78% of consumers would recommend the business to others following a positive experience
- Businesses providing quality customer service can potentially grow at twice the speed of as fast their under-performing competitors.
A strong digital presence can also help to cement your franchise as consumers' main choice. Generally the first port of call for consumers, an easy-to-use website that remains up to date makes researching a positive experience and ensures customers have no reason to look elsewhere for similar services. Additionally, remaining easily contactable is essential for maintaining trust between you and clients, and also highlights to consumers that their business is valued.
The importance of knowing your client base to deliver customer satisfaction can never be overlooked. With so much being voiced over social these days, clients now have more power than ever before when it comes to voicing a company's negative aspects, and are faced with numerous options when shopping for services. Even so, it is evident that positive experiences and long term relationships are valued more than almost anything else, and simply getting to know your client base will lay down the foundations for repeat business and allow you to get ahead of the competition.