Canon

Customer Intimacy: Strategies for Building Long-Term Relationships

Many businesses rely on the latest technologies or the newest products to create a competitive advantage in the market, but even things that are the latest buzz can quickly become commodities. Organizations must seek new battlegrounds for differentiation by adding customer value. Savvy marketers add value through customer intimacy, focusing on techniques and strategies that build long-term relationships. Through focused communications, they are showing customers that they understand — and can even anticipate — what they want, how they want it, and when they want it.

In the Canon Solutions America-sponsored webinar entitled Customer Intimacy: Strategies for Building Long-Term Relationships presented by Printing Impressions and Target Marketing magazines, InfoTrends’ Barb Pellow outlines the meaning of customer intimacy. Today’s companies can leverage data to attract new customers and nurture relationships that build better, more effective communications. In kicking off the session, Pellow states, “There are several facets involved with customer intimacy. First and foremost, you must know and understand the people that you sell to. You need to understand what moves them, what triggers them to take action, what matters to them, and what they value in your offerings.”

Savvy marketers add value through customer intimacy, focusing on techniques and strategies that build long-term relationships.

Pellow goes on to describe the benefits of planning communications that are specifically tailored to these customers. She continues, “You’ve got to select the right channels to reach those leads, prospects, and loyal customers, and then you have to make them an offer that they can’t refuse.” The next step is considering and controlling your sales cycle and conversion process. How long is the average sales cycle, and what improvements can be made?

“The key to moving these conversion rates is truly developing an intimate understanding of your customer base,” Pellow stresses. “I need to be able to nurture a relationship by demonstrating to customers that I understand them better than anyone else. This gives me the ability to upsell my offerings, and also to cross-sell my portfolio of products and services to that client.”

Joining Pellow in this webinar is Chris Illman, President of OneTouchPoint, and Larry Neustel, Manager of Advertising Production at Kohler. Following her introduction to customer intimacy, Illman and Neustel talk about strategies for building and nurturing relationships to create incredibly loyal customers.

With a tagline like “Making every touchpoint matter,” you can bet that OneTouchPoint is committed to building customer relationships. Chris Illman shares, “Our tagline is truly built around client intimacy. We try to live this philosophy every day, getting to know our customers better.” With over 950 employees, more than 1,000 clients, and facilities throughout the United States, the company boasts $140 million in annual sales. Illman describes “true value” as finding ways to help clients become more intimate with their own customers, and he considers this to be a real differentiator in the industry. He elaborates, “People are bombarded by choices that are not easily differentiated. Today’s buyers trust their own ideas and advice from friends more than they trust advertisements. We want to work with our client base to create strategies for long-term relationships. This means that every single touchpoint must matter.” OneTouchPoint works with its customers to help transform the masses of data that today’s organizations have into insight. Throughout the webinar, Illman shares tactics and strategies for using this data to deliver intelligent, insightful communication.

“People are bombarded by choices that are not easily differentiated. Today’s buyers trust their own ideas and advice from friends more than they trust advertisements.”

To help exemplify this during the webinar, Illman is joined by his customer, Larry Neustel at Kohler. Kohler has long been recognized as an industry leader for providing a variety of kitchen and bath plumbing fixtures. During the webinar, these two customer intimacy gurus joined forces to share how a transformed sales lead process helped build better customer relationships and converted leads to sales with personalized communications.

Leveraging data, technology, and the right partners can develop a level of customer intimacy that leads to deeper, longer-lasting customer relationships. This can result in better revenues, a higher lifetime customer value, lower customer acquisition costs due to lower churn, and greater share of wallet. Now is the time to get intimate with your customers!