Original FOB | FOB Foreign Trade Forum
Last year, I had the opportunity to work on a gift customization project with a small customer, resulting in a transaction worth tens of thousands of dollars. Though it was a low-value-added product among our offerings, I didn’t expect much from this customer, and the modest profit earned seemed satisfactory at the time.
Customer Relationship Unveiled: A Pleasant Surprise
To my surprise, the customer returned last month with another order, still for a low-value product, but this time with a slightly larger amount. Little did I know that this was just the beginning of a remarkable turn of events.
In the following days, the same customer placed an order for high-value-added products, an amount ten times greater than their previous order. It was truly unexpected and a pleasant surprise.
The Ripple Effect of Strong Customer Relationship
Similarly, we had an old customer with whom we had been doing business for seven or eight years, making consistent but relatively small orders annually. However, last year, they discovered and purchased a new product from our company, belonging to a different industry. Since then, they have been placing orders almost every month, resulting in a significant increase in profits from this particular customer.
Moreover, we ventured into the hotel supplies business in December of the previous year. Initially, it involved low-value-added products with a profit of only RMB 30,000. However, in recent days, we have been receiving return orders, and interestingly, customers are now ordering high-value-added products, with the return order amount surpassing three times that of the initial order.
Nurturing Long-Term Customer Relationship
Maintaining long-term customer relationship, even with old clients, has been a priority for our company. Just recently, my boss handed me a stack of business cards belonging to customers who had placed orders many years ago but hadn’t engaged with us since then. He urged me to reach out to them, inquire about their needs, and rekindle business relationships.
Feeling both excited and nervous about this task, I decided to seek advice from fellow forum members on how to approach this endeavor. The following suggestions emerged from the discussion:
1. Strategic Timing for Communication:
Choose the right time to contact customers through WhatsApp, preferably during their noon break or after their work hours when they are more likely to be receptive to business communications.
2. Concise and Direct Contact:
Be concise and direct when contacting customers, presenting our company’s offerings, capabilities, and advantages without dwelling on past orders or previous experiences.
3. Efficient Follow-Up Strategies:
Create a well-structured follow-up progress form with template emails for each step. This will enhance efficiency and enable us to send general emails with holiday greetings on Thursdays and Fridays.
4. Demonstrate Genuine Interest:
Demonstrate genuine interest and perseverance when engaging with customers. Regular and consistent follow-ups can foster stronger connections.
Strategies for Long-Term Customer Relationship
Additionally, we discussed various strategies for maintaining long-term customer relationship, which include:
- Proactive Communication:
Proactively communicate with customers, introducing the products we offer and increasing their trust in our business.
- Patience in Consultation:
Exercise patience when consulting with customers, especially during the proofing process. Understand that repeated requests for modifications may indicate the customer’s dedication to finding the right solution for cooperation.
- Frequent Contact Throughout Processes:
Maintain frequent contact with customers throughout the ordering process and in ordinary interactions, as this helps build trust and transparency.
- Face-to-Face Meetings:
Whenever possible, arrange face-to-face meetings with customers. In-person interactions leave a lasting impression and strengthen the foundation of trust.
As we embark on the journey of re-engaging with long-lost customers and nurturing enduring relationships with existing ones, we embrace the surprises that await us. Our dedication to providing quality products and excellent service will undoubtedly pave the way for many more success stories in the future.
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