You probably already know that it’s easier to keep customers and work on repeat business than it is to bring in new business. In fact, if you keep up with marketing reports and news, you know that there is a 60-70 per cent probability of selling to an existing customer, compared to only a 5-20 per cent probability of sales from a new customer.
This should make it clear that you need to work on customer retention as hard, if not harder, than you do new business. You will spend less money marketing to existing customers than you will marketing to new customers, while at the same time see a higher conversion. The tips here are some I have implemented in past businesses and share with others to assist them with their marketing campaign.
1. Resurrect Lost Clients: Plan a marketing campaign built around clients who have not used your services lately. You can choose your timeframe based on the type of business you have. It might be normal for a client to have a month or two between needs, or, it might be that you target only those who have not utilised your services in a year.
Send lost clients a postcard email or call them. Complete win-loss interviews with these clients and find out what they liked and didn’t like, or why they haven’t frequented your business recently. You can learn a lot about your business by listening to their responses.
2. Listen: Marketing and customer service are often thought of as two different worlds in a business; however, the two can and should be listening to each other. You, as the business owner, have to listen to both. Customer service can clue marketing in on various complaints, wishes and comments that come to them. Marketing can help train customer service on how to respond positively to these comments.
3. Reward Loyalty: Loyalty progammes may seem cliché these day; however, they are alive and in full force. Reward your customers for referring you to others or frequenting you r business. Loyalty programmes are not only for the supermarket; they can be used successfully in many businesses.
4. Personalise: If you want to keep your current customers, you have to make them feel special. Mass emails and generic newsletters are not personal. Call your clients at random, send them a personalised, signed postcard, anything that shows they are unique to your business, not just another number.
5. Network: Send your inactive clients an invitation to an open house. Not only will you have the opportunity to re-introduce your business, you will be encouraging networking between businesses.
Put these tips to use in you r business and watch your current and past clients return to you for business. If you have ideas that you have implemented in your business for customer retention, use the box below to submit your comments.
(Image: By Estebanherrer via Wikimedia Commons)