As a marketing company we are often asked how to attract new customers.
And indeed alot of our activities help companies stand out from the crowd and attract attention to win new business. But we always advise never to lose sight of communicating and marketing to your existing customers too.
The well known rule that 80% of work usually comes from just 20% of customers is still very relevant and companies who ignore it do so at their peril. So it’s worth taking great care of that 20% to make sure they keep coming back.
How to keep the customers you’ve won…
Keep in touch
There’s an amazing statistic I use regularly in presentations from the CIM that a whopping 65% of customers stop buying from a company not because they are unhappy but simply because of indifference! If you are in business, that statistic should make you sit up and take notice as it’s pretty scary. If you’re not keeping in touch with your customers you can guarantee competitors will be. That means we should keep in touch, pick up the phone and talk to those customers we haven’t heard from in a while, not to sell them something, just to see how things are going, you’ll be surprised by what you might learn. Send a regular newsletter so that they can see what you are doing and reminding them that you are still there if they need you. Use social media to engage with your customers on their preferred platform. There are so many ways we can communicate with our customers that there seems little excuse not to get in touch.
Keep your website updated
Many customers will visit a website first before calling. So if your website is out of date, if it doesn’t have your latest events, products or services on there, chances are they will just go looking elsewhere. Your website is your window to the world, even if you are not selling online, it is essential to keep it up to date. It should be a living representation of your company where it is today, not yesterday and certainly not last month or last year.
Maintain good products and services
It’s no good just saying how good your products and services are, you have to deliver on those promises. If you haven’t received the standard you expect customers will often not complain and give you the opportunity to put it right, in many cases they will just go elsewhere next time. If things do go wrong, it’s the measure of a company how you deal with that issue. If you resolve the issue, apologise and give back something to that customer, you’ll often find a customer will stay with you. Just think how you would like to be treated.
Show your appreciation by offering rewards for referrals or multiple orders
If your customers think highly enough of you to refer your business to others why not show your appreciation by giving them a gift, such as a bottle of champagne or a more formal referral scheme. This is a great way of saying thank you and may spur them on to give more referrals. Or if your customer is constantly placing large orders, why not offer them a discount on their next order to show that you appreciate their custom.
When it comes to customer service – go that extra mile
Whether you stay at work late to complete the quote they have asked for, or arrange the express delivery of a product that they urgently need, your customers will remember when you go that extra mile to help them. They only need to be little tasks – but it’s these little tasks and great customer service that will make your customer choose you over your competitor next time they need to order.
Offer your ideas and advice when you think it might be helpful
You are the expert in your area of business so if you feel that you can offer some useful advice on a product or service, or offer an alternative that may work better for your customer, tell them about it. By sharing your knowledge and expertise you are adding value to your product or service at no extra cost to you. FIG runs free marketing seminars helping our customers learn more about how to market their business, from using social media to PR. It all adds value and benefit to our customer relationships.
Share your testimonials, if you have good customer feedback make it known
If you have received good feedback from your customers you should shout it from the roof tops (with their permission of course) We are often not very good at blowing our own trumpet so if your customers are doing it for you then you should make the most of it. Post the testimonials on your blog or add them to a page on your website, you could even include them in your next e-newsletter. Real testimonials from real businesses help to install confidence and build trust with other customers and make them more likely to continue working with you in the future. Even better, ask for a case study to demonstrate how someone has used and benefited from using your products and services. It’s good promotion for your customers too so can work both ways.
If you would like help marketing and communicating to your audience contact FIG on 01457 857111 or find out more about what we do at www.fig.agency