Do you have a keeping customers strategy?
I’m sure that you will agree that once you’ve got a customer you’d like to be able to keep them. I mean, what’s the point in working hard to bring a customer in for the first time and then not doing anything to keep them? It’s going to be a lot of hard work if you have to keep on getting new customers all the time.
One way sure fire way to grow your business is to sell more to your existing customers. However, you can’t just sell, sell, sell all the time. There has to be a relationship…you have to engage with people and build rapport.
Why have a keeping customers strategy?
There are big business benefits from taking a serious look at what you do to keep customers coming back and spending with you.
For example, once you’ve brought in a customer for the first time, it’s easier to bring them in for a second time (they know you exist, how to find you, they like what they bought the first time, etc). There is also a great deal of evidence that says that in most businesses, returning customers spend more than first time customers. Therefore, it’s not only less expensive and a lot less work to get an existing customer to buy from you again and again, but you can also generate more revenue. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
All customers are not equal
All your customers aren’t made equal and therefore your keeping customers strategy isn’t about keeping all your customers. It’s about identifying the ones that you really want to keep and putting in to place a small number of highly effective strategies that will enable you to maximise the value of those customers.
Obviously you’d like your best customers to keep coming back, but not only that, you want more customers just like them.
Your most valuable customers (MVC’s)
This is a very worthwhile exercise to work through as the results may surprise you. Do you know who your top 5, 10, 20 customers are? Use these questions to help get you started. Look at your database of customers and work out:
- How much money they’ve spent with you
- How regular they buy something form you
- How regular they refer new customers to you
- How much those new customers spend with you
At the end of this you should have a list of your most valuable customers. Make sure you are doing everything to maximise the value of these customers.
What are you doing to keep in touch with your customers?
As mentioned previously, if you want to sell more to your existing customers you have to put things in place to keep in touch with them. When it comes to the time when you what them to buy something, it’s personal, anticipated and relevant to them. In other words, they are ready to buy.
Take time out to look at your customer base and think about the following questions:
- Do all your customers know about every single product or service you offer?
- When was the last time you contacted your customers?
- Do you have systems in place to remind and help you engage with your customers?
- Do you check satisfaction with your customers?
- What happens once you’ve made a sale?
- How do you keep in touch?
- Could you sell more to existing customers?
Building your relationship with your customers
The most successful businesses:
- Know more about their customers than anyone else
- Get closer to their customers more than anyone else
- Emotionally connect with their customer better than anyone else
So what kind of things could you be doing to build rapport and strengthen your relationship with your clients? Here are a few things to think about:
- A regular e-newsletter
- A regular printed newsletter
- Regular informal emails
- Pop into see them now and again
- Pick up the phone and have a chat
- Write a blog and send out the updates by email
- Send postcards
- Write a thank you letter or card
- Send out some educational ‘how to’ material
- Write and send out industry reports
- Mail out some freebies, trials or offers
- Publish some videos and send them out
- Run an event and send out invitations
- Invite your clients to events you’re attending
- Tell them about your special guarantee
I’m sure you can think of lots of things you could do to keep in touch with your customers. Use this article to help inspire you to think of things you could be doing.
Remember that the purpose of your keeping customers strategy is to help you to keep a customer for life, not just to make a single sale.
Have a great week,