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The value in customer retention and repeat business for SME’s

The customer is fundamental to the survival of any business. The Office of National Statistics show that in order to be deemed a success, usually marked by the profit, a business has to have survived beyond 5 years. Therefore building an ongoing relationship with your customers matters. With our business being Commercial  Finance, we help many start ups and established expanding businesses. Regardless of longevity, or whether that business is in the product or service industry there is one common denominator that ascertains that success – the customer.

The saying, “the customer knows best”, is something of previous decades and only stands to halt business growth. The customer that makes a business today is one that understands fair practice and equality of the transaction. Those are the relationships worth striving to keep. With our many finance offerings we find that a customer who comes to us for a business loan on one occasion may later return for alternative finance, if we provide good service and build a relationship.

Here are some suggestions that work for Genie Lending as a finance broker, that may help your business in the quest for repeat business.

1. Take the time to outline to clients upfront what the terms are and what they can expect. Allow them time to reflect on these and come back within a given time frame. This elevates any misconceptions or annoyance by chasing.

2. Offer alternatives. Never be afraid to give the customer choice. This is primarily what sets the SME’s apart from the larger companies. We often get contacted by clients wanting a business loan but by taking the time to properly understand their needs and matching these to the criteria of the loan, we can suggest alternatives that may be more flexible, cheaper or a shorter term loan. Good customer service is always about listening and understanding the detail. If an alternative is not available, respect can be earned by being honest. The customer is more likely to come back to you if they cannot find the alternative elsewhere.

3. Keep a good dialogue with one point of contact or consistency across the customer experience. At Genie Lending we provide our clients with a Dedicated Case Manager to see your enquiry through to completion. Each case is important to us and this way we ensure that you get the best match for your case and we give the best possible service.

4. Whatever the outcome, ie purchase or not, finish the last point of contact on a high thanking the customer and maintain the “see you soon” outlook. A lot of companies, especially the larger more established ones tend to communicate solely via email to keep in contact with their customer base. In today’s society a personal call, in the service industry sector or a personalised giveaway in the product industry (be it samples or a money off voucher) every now and again goes a long way towards keeping your company on a customers radar. Consider this in your planning for quieter times of the year, if your business is seasonal, give yourself plenty of time in the planning to account for time to do this therefore not interrupting the buying pattern of your customer base and inadvertently giving them a discount when they would have bought regardless.

5. Listen to the feedback, good or bad it can provide powerful insight towards getting the right sustainable model for your business.

Keeping these useful pointers in mind should enable you to build a good relationship with your customers in the SME marketplace. We value our growing repeat client base, and the success of our clients translates into the success of our business. Genie Lending wish you the best with your repeat customer experience.

If your business requires funding you can trust Genie Lending to go to every extent to provide the correct finance quickly, for the result you want. As well as the household names in the industry we have access to proven lending sources who you will not find on the high street. Our aim is to help UK SME’s obtain funding for all their business requirements, whether that be growth, acquiring premises, paying HMRC liabilities or simply working capital. Genie Lending can assist with complete finance solutions.