MD’s Business Blog: Why is customer care SO important for a business?
When we think of marketing at AMT, we automatically think of reaching out to new customers. “How do we optimise our website, use social media, research LinkedIn, put on partner events – to tempt new companies to give us a try?”
Around 70% of our work is repeat business – working with clients who have already completed a project with us.
Winning a new client is a complex process. A rule of thumb in the marketing world is that it takes 7 to 15 contacts before a person will buy from you. That means that, from somebody first seeing our name online or hearing about us from a colleague, they need to watch some videos, look at our website, see a couple of online ads, notice a couple of articles on the blog or LinkedIn, click on an AdWord, before finally picking the phone up to give us a call.
That’s a huge amount of work from our marketing department (who is called Nicole!)
And that’s only the start of the process. The average time from contact to first sale is 3 months. That’s many calls and lots of correspondence from our account managers, developing the relationship and building trust before we start our first engagement.
And then, when we first engage, there is a big learning curve – how does this new organisation work, who are the key contacts, what’s the culture, what systems do they currently have?
We all like winning new clients, but the biggest success is when we re-engage with a current customer.
Everything’s so much easier.
We’re dealing with people we know, who trust us to do a good job. We know their work culture, and how their current processes work. This means we can quote more accurately, work more quickly, and achieve great outcomes.
The great thing about Microsoft 365 is that there’s so much you can do with it.
A typical first engagement is to help an organisation start to move files from a shared drive up to Office 365.
This is a great opportunity to start looking at some of the benefits of the cloud.
Version history, co-authoring, working from anywhere and sharing are all quick and easy wins.
From there we start putting in automatic retention rules. Document approval processes are pretty straightforward. Encryption, so that documents can only be opened within your 4 walls, is a little trickier, but still not particularly complex.
Going forward, you can do so many things to make life easier. Microsoft Teams is a great tool to get your users communicating better. Intune gives you the ability to manage your mobile devices. Power BI creates amazing interactive dashboards from as many sources of data as you want to throw at it. PowerApps and Flow can be used to manage all kinds of business processes.
Although our first engagement is often with the IT team, we work with many different departments.
HR use Office 365 to store documents securely, manage holiday bookings and track the life-cycle and review of documents.
Finance track the expiry of contracts, route document approvals and produce PowerBI dashboards.
Production manage quality audits, track testing programmes and manage product portfolios.
Design keep track of projects and deadlines, share knowledge and collaborate across teams…
We discussed this at a recent company meeting, and our view was that we need to ‘Treat every customer like a VIP‘.
To be fair, this has always been how we’ve tried to work – back in the days when we had a small number of large clients, we learned the importance of going the extra mile. It could be easy to forget now that we deal with many more clients in a year, but client feedback and retention are core to our KPIs.
It’s so important to us that every client that walks through the door is well looked after and comes back to do more work – the extra attention given during a project gives our contacts a good win, and hopefully keeps them coming back for more.
Colin Thorpe is Managing Director of AMT Evolve
He has been working with internet technologies for 25 years, and really hates admitting he still finds it fascinating.