It's not hokey or old school to say that your customer is your North Star; it's actually good business. This mindset is a reminder that you must actively find ways to engage and connect with all your clients to keep and grow your business. The trick is finding the balance between connecting and pestering.
Instead of thinking about selling to your customer in your effort to keep and grow, consider creating programs that support consistent touchpoints and outreach. Don't make your client contact solely about asking for a sale. Share information and education to create a bond that demonstrates that you are always thinking about them and that you are available to support their success. When you do present an option to buy more services, they will also consider all that you have consistently provided in the past. And, if your message is on target, they will be more receptive.
Here are several methods to consider in your North Star program. These tips can help keep your customers engaged, generate a sense of appreciation towards you and your efforts while developing inroads to access valuable decision-making information.
1. Schedule and host two to three Town Hall meetings a year
They are relatively low-cost, and they will give you direct access to share what's new or provide industry updates. Record the event and send a follow-up to the customers that did not attend. Be sure to ask questions, as their responses will help you understand changes and new challenges you didn't know existed.
2. Send a satisfaction (and information gathering) survey at least twice a year
Not only will you remind your clients that you care about their opinion, but you will also actively identify the customers at risk of being picked off by competitors. Clients who rate your service as average are susceptible to sitting down with other vendors since they believe their current service is mediocre (ouch). Your survey will identify clients that you must actively engage and connect with, giving you the chance to help them see you in a better light. Also, with the right questions, you will learn if there are new challenges afoot or if they are aware of your entire service line.
3. Create and manage a customer advisory group
An advisory group or council is a great way to take your current customer relationship to a higher level; you will also groom and create company evangelists. Your advisory group is also an excellent source for any thought leadership activities you are implementing (conference speaker, journal quotes, interviews, etc.)
4. Send quarterly newsletters
A newsletter is a good way to communicate education and community and philanthropic activities your company conducts. Clients like to know that the company they are partnering with takes care of their employees and supports their community. Share news about employees, highlight a client of the month, and share educational insights about your products (i.e., mini case studies, product highlights, etc.)
Adopting a true Client-North Star mentality and program will undoubtedly strengthen your customer's commitment to the products and services you currently offer and make them more receptive to remain a part of your future.
Consider getting help
If you are wondering if implementing and managing these programs are time-consuming endeavors? The answer is, yes, it can take a lot of time and resources. If you don't have the manpower internally, consider working with someone in the healthcare marketing industry to develop and project manage your programs, and create and deploy a consistent flow of content that will ultimately help you keep and grow your clients.