Client Nurturing Programme
Remember Perceived Indifference? Well Client Nurturing is a systemised way to show your customer that you do indeed ‘care’ about them. Most businesses will say and do nice things, but it won’t be planned nor organised and especially, it won’t be effective.
A Client Nurturing Programme is about ‘systemising’ how you ‘care’ for your customers.
Client nurturing is nothing more than keeping the lines of communication open. And it’s also suitable for prospects as well: although we all tend to nurture prospects. It’s only once they’ve paid their money that we tend to take less notice of them. Isn’t that interesting???
However, fear not, it’s completely normal for we humans to be less motivated once we have what we want the customer’s money. That s why it’s of paramount importance to systemise the way you ‘care’ for your customer.
A simple ‘Thank You’ card is often all it takes to WOW a customer. When was the last time you received a thank you card from somewhere that you or your partner had recently shopped at:? And what an opportunity it would have been to be able to send a ‘gift voucher’ with the thank you card?
Here’s an example most of you should relate to.
Imagine you buy an expensive leather lounge from local furniture dealer. In all you spend nearly $10,000 with that store. Not only do you have to negotiate ‘free delivery’ but overall the service simply isn’t good. The day the furniture is delivered, of course, goes as per most delivery procedures, so again, quite ‘under’ whelming. Then after the sale NOTHING. Now you weren’t particularly impressed with them from the beginning, and then after spending nearly $10,000 with them, they don’t even thank you:!
The point is that even though you are not over the moon with their service, had you received a thank you card with a voucher to perhaps purchase a leather care kit, then there’s a good chance that you would do so. So it’s not that their service is particularly bad, it is just average. But when it is all added up, you’re not very impressed.
Now, not only have they lost one customer, they’ve potentially lost a lot more because not only have you told others about your impressions of the dealer, you certainly haven’t recommended them to anyone either.
So, how do you implement a Client Nurturing Programme?
Well, fundamentally, it’s quite simple; however there isn’t one system that fits all. So you will need to develop one that most suits your situation.
The fundamentals of a good CNP are as follows:
1. It must be time-lined
2. It must be templated
3. It must be easy to use
4. It must be available to those who need to use it
5. It must be SIMPLE
6. It must be measurable
7. It must be personal
8. It must be genuine, and finally,
9. It must be USED:!
With that in mind and example of a CNP might be:
Day of Purchase = P
P + 3 days send Thank You card, including Gift Voucher
P + 1 month a bounce back offer, if appropriate
P + 2 months Newsletter
P + 3 months Send Gift
P + 4 months Newsletter
P + 5 months Seasonal promotion (if timely)
P + 6 months Newsletter
P + 7 months Long Time No See Letter (if applicable)
P + 8 months Newsletter
P + 9 months Anniversary/ Birthday card (if timely)
P + 10 months Newsletter
P + 11 months New product
P + 12 months Newsletter
As you can see, this timeline will not work for every situation, but it gives you an idea of how simple it can be to set a system up.
** A helpful hint:
Many business owners become concerned that they don’t have the time to do all that. One idea that works well is to have 12 ‘pigeon’ holes and in each pigeon hole have say all the birthday cards to be sent out for that month, or all the “Long Time No See” letters to be sent out. This way it’s easier to use.
Fortunately it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out an effective system, it’s just that business owner often don’t take the time to think about it, let alone put one in place.
Again, there are many good point of sale systems that will assist in implementing a CNP.
Now if you don’t have the time, or the skill to produce newsletters on a bi monthly basis there are many service providers you can outsource this project to.
Now that you have a better understanding of what it means to offer WOW customer service,check out this video interview with Chris Nobbs. A man who is very passionate about WOW customer service.