Increase wallet share by building customer relationships

Build Relationships, Build Wallet Share

Posted by Amy Peveto on January 29, 2013

It’s no secret that loyal customers are key to a business’ success. The term “wallet share” has been around for decades, but I think some updating for the 21st century is in order. It’s time to take wallet share to the next level.

Out with the old

In the past, wallet share meant providing so many services to customers that it makes it difficult for them to take their business elsewhere.

For example, it’s easy for me to close out one checking account with a bank and open a new one at another; but if I’ve got a checking account, savings account, car loan, and home improvement loan, I’m less likely to transfer banks because it’s more work.

For some businesses it’s easy to take “increase wallet share” at its most shallow, and involve their customers in so many services or products that they remain customers—sometimes despite crummy customer service—simply because it would be too big a hassle to move.

If you want to increase wallet share, you need to be worthy of your customers’ loyalty, not hold it hostage.

In with the new

At the risk of sounding cliche, wallet share is less about getting into customers’ wallets and more about getting into their hearts and minds.

I can talk theory all day, but actions speak louder than words. Here’s four steps you can take to increase wallet share build relationships with your customers.

Have a helpful website

Make sure your company website is nicely designed and provides customers the information they want. Develop buyer personas, consider content marketing, and be available to customers via phone, email, and social media.

A website that does not give you a way to entice and capture leads is dead weight.

If you think your website needs a refresh, we’re here to help.

Give excellent customer service

Train every member of your team to provide great customer assistance — whether online, via phone, or in person.

For better or worse, today’s consumers expect brands to go above and beyond for their customers. Doing so may mean less margin on a purchase, or less time taking orders from others, but happy customers are vocal ones, and will sing your praises to their friends and on social networks.

Nothing solidifies a customer relationship like repeated, positive customer service experiences.

Sell less, help more

As consumer trust in traditional advertising falls, there’s a corresponding uptick in people who are relying more on recommendations from family, friends, and their social networks.

Content marketing centers around the idea that if you produce and share useful content—instead of traditional television or print ads—you are more likely attract new customers, keep existing ones, and have them recommend you to their connections.

Focus less on selling your product or service and more on providing valuable content and guidance to your audience. Build trust and you’ll build your business.

Utilize a CRM

Investing in a good CRM (Customer Relations Management) means you can automate things like lead scoring, nurture/drip emails, and marketing campaigns. You can target certain offers to the individuals most likely to sign up; members of your sales team can see at a glance which items specific customers have already purchased, and tailor their offers to related products.

Used correctly and to its fullest capabilities, a CRM will help you build relationships, cross-sell products and services, and give your customers a consistently pleasant experience.

Get started now

Technology's rapid growth presents businesses with many challenges, but affords just as many opportunities for reaching new audiences and building relationships with current customers.

If you'd like to turn your website into a customer-friendly place, as well as create a marketing strategy that brings you even more business, it may be time for a redesign.

Start now

[Image: rafiq s]


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Submitted by Carol Lynn on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 2:40pm

I wrote about this same topic this week and I really feel strongly about it! It's so true - enough with "tying customers to you". It really does nothing but build resentment and that may work for big brands with little competition (or to whom the loss of a customer more or less wouldn't matter) but it's no strategy at all for small biz. Loyalty is not "I'm stuck here because it's too inconvenient to do anything else." Great points!

Submitted by Amy Peveto on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 2:57pm

I would argue that tying customers to you is a bad move for any business, big or small. The loss of a single customer may not bother a big company, but if they've got a big social following, or their one complaint goes viral, guess who's going to get flamed about it?

Building wallet share is about being human, being kind. And that's something all companies should get behind.

Thanks for the comment (and the share!)