Wooing Your Existing Customers
Many business owners have it ingrained in their thinking that they must focus on finding new customers as the driver of their business growth. In reality, retaining existing customers is far easier, and much less costly, than looking for new customers. In fact, the cost of acquiring a new customer can be seven times more expensive than retaining a current customer!
You cannot assume that once a person becomes a customer, they will stay a customer. So, how do you ensure that your existing customers continue to make repeat purchases? How do you get your current customers to buy more from you? It starts with making sure your customer base remains happy, loyal and content with your business.
Your ultimate goal should be to give your customers an unexpected positive experience that keeps you and your product or service at the top of their mind. “Satisfying” a customer is no longer acceptable – you need to “wow” them.
Below are some specific actions that you can take to provide a competitive advantage with great customer service:
- Always provide consistency of service, make it easy to buy, and add a WOW factor.
- Send personalized “thank you” notes thanking customers for their business.
- If you made a mistake, acknowledge the mistake and ask what you can do to make the situation better.
- Provide opportunities for special treatment of your customers, particularly your A customers (the top 20 percent). For example, if you are about to launch a new product, let these top customers know in advance rather than find out through public advertising.
- Deliver your product with an unexpected gift or do something that the customer doesn’t expect. It doesn’t need to be elaborate – it is the unexpected that will create the positive relationship benefit.
In addition, you should be having frequent interactions with your existing customers (through newsletters, social media posts, blog entries, check-in phone calls, etc.) so that they will think about you and your business first when it’s time for them to buy your product again. Communicating regularly with your customers and providing value for them can set you apart and stop your competitors from moving in on your key customers. Remember, it is always easier for your competitors to steal your market share rather than to find a new customer who has never purchased that type of product before.
Good customer service is proactive, so don’t wait until there is a problem to start taking care of your customers. By taking positive steps early and frequently, you can prevent perceived indifference from developing, which will help you retain more of your existing customer base.