Marketing - Basic Marketing
Customer Loyalty"It takes a lot less money to increase your retention of current customers than to find new ones-but I know I don't give it as much effort as I should because it does take a lot of energy and effort!"
Strategize And Plan For Loyalty!
I bet you haven't given it as much thought as you should- because to tell the truth I need to give it more effort also.
If you currently retain 70 percent of your customers and you start a program to improve that to 80 percent, you'll add an additional 10 percent to your growth rate.
Particularly because of the high cost of landing new customers versus the high profitability of a loyal customer base, you might want to reflect upon your current business strategy.
These four factors will greatly affect your ability to build a loyal customer base:
Giving a lot of thought to your marketing programs aimed at current customers is one aspect of building customer loyalty.
When you buy a new car, many dealers will within minutes try to sell you an extended warranty, an alarm system, and maybe rustproofing. It's often a very easy sale and costs the dealer almost nothing to make. Are there additional products or services you can sell your customers?
Three years ago my house was painted, and it's now due for another coat. Why hasn't the painter called or at least sent a card? It would be a lot less expensive than getting new customers through his newspaper ad, and since I was happy with his work I won't get four competing bids this time. Keep all the information you can on your customers and don't hesitate to ask for the next sale.
Use Complaints To Build Business!
In many business situations, the customer will have many more interactions after the sale with technical, service, or customer support people than they did with the sales people. So if you're serious about retaining customers or getting referrals, these interactions are the ones that are really going to matter. They really should be handled with the same attention and focus that sales calls get because in a way they are sales calls for repeat business.
Reach Out To Your Customers!
Send a simple newsletter to your customers-tell them about the great things that are happening at your firm and include some useful information for them. Send them copies of any media clippings about your firm. Invite them to free seminars. The more they know about you, the more they see you as someone out to help them, the more they know about your accomplishments-the more loyal a customer they will be.
Loyal Customers and Loyal Workforces
The increasing trend today is to send customer-service and technical-support calls into queue for the next available person. This builds no personal loyalty and probably less loyalty for the firm. Before you go this route, be sure this is what your customers prefer. Otherwise I'd assign a specific support person to every significant customer.
One last thing-don't tell your customers your 800 line phone number is for orders only!
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