Should I focus more on sales or customer experience?
We've been focusing heavily on sales. We've seen a great increase but not a lot of returning customers. I wonder if this is because we haven't been paying as much attention to the customer experience, as we have been to pushing up our numbers. In your eyes, what is more important? Or how much time should we spend on each?
If the product is one that should have repeat business then you need to develop or use a follow-up system that automatically checks with previous customers on how they like the product and it may be time to re-order. I get reminders for a number of products that I buy on line. Once these systems and procedures are developed you should come up with creative methods of asking for re-orders. My guess is this is a 70-30 breakdown of new versus repeat business.
The answer to how much time should be different for each business so for me to generalise would be worthless to you. One guide I can give you is to calculate the value of repeat business you think you could get from each customer and compare it to the typical value of a new business order. If, for example, repeat business could be say five times the value of a new order then nurturing existing customers should clearly be a priority.
It is often said that getting a new customer costs 10 times as much as maintaining existing customers - don't fall for this one as the people that come up with such figures typically do not spend enough time maintaining existing customers which makes it look like the cheap option.
The bottom line is that new customers are essential for growing a business so whatever split of effort you decide upon new business selling must be there.
Since you are able to get new customers - clearly the value proposition is working. So you have been successful in creating a compelling perception. As you have mentioned that number of returning customers are fewer - I am assuming that your product or service has a repetitive usage / consumption. If this is the case, it may be useful to dig in deeper to research customer experience at the point of delivery and their usage experience within a defined period of time. The findings may identify possible gap areas between the customers expectation and actual experience. The feedback mechanism will help to take course correction. Who in your organisation is accountable for taking care of customer experience and what is the performance metric?
Both! Without sales you can't survive and without good customer experiences you can't leverage loyalty or social media marketing. It's not one or the other... it's both.
Without question the customer is the number 1 priority. It is many times easier to sell to an existing customer, that you provide a good customer experience to, that knows and trusts you. Not only that but they tell their friends.
There are couple of variables that need answering first.
1. What is the nature of your product or service ? Does it warrant return customers ?
2. What is the competitive landscape ? Are there lots of competitors for your product or ?
3. Is your product / service an industry specific or a generic solution ?
When someone buys they are effectively becoming an ambassador for your product or service. Even if they do not return as a customer I reckon it is important that their experience of using or consuming your product is so good that they spread the word. Customer engagement is all about encouraging your existing customer to repeat buy or spread the word and grow your market. No doubt focussing on new sales and new customers is good but it is absolutely necessary to keep in touch with your existing customers to get feedback and also spread the word. Existing customers will also be able to tell you about whats out there in the market.
So yes CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT is as important as NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT. Good luck and Good selling !!!!!
First, it's your customer, second it's your sales!
taking care of your customers will eventually take care of your sales by itself!
I would recommend to have a look back on your mission and vision objectives, see if you are stepping away from the road map you have drown for the business, are you?
review your growth strategy and check on your strength, weaknesses. I do believe your question is much more broader than what it seems really! that's a smart question and hits many areas!
hope that works,
Congratulations on successfully building sales so far. Although I don't know your product or service, I would be concerned about the lack of repeat customers. Increased sales will not necessarily result in a better customer experience but a great customer experience will result in increased sales and an easier and shorter sales cycle. Someone else touched on the restaurant analogy - would you return to a restaurant that had good soup but a negative customer experience?
Debroah...I believe you asking two different and unrelated questions. Sales are a result of what you do in the processes and activities of your business. Focusing more on sales is like saying we need to focus on being in China. The real question is "how are you going to get to China...what steps need to be in place to make this possible"...it's the end result, not something you focus on.
if you want to increase sales, my experience and recommendation is to go "all-in" on building an awesome customer experience. It is what is in your control...you own it and as such can control more of the outcome...which will ultimately be a stronger customer base and increased sales. You can NEVER GO WRONG when you focus in on your customers...but doing it in a way that works is where the magic lies.
You should focus on both Sales and customer experience also because both are beneficial. If you satisfy customers then only you will get good sales in return.