As a digital marketer I am always reading books on branding, marketing in the digital age, and the changes in social media. As I read, I learn new concepts that help my company, as well as my customers market better to our client base. I want to share with you something I learned recently that I think we all have experienced and have been irritated by but we accept because it has become the norm.
Just last night I spoke with my stylist who will be moving soon. As a marketing tactic to get new clients in her chair, she offered $10 off services. I immediately sent her a Facebook message as soon as I saw it. I, as well as many of her other clients, had moved with her from shop to shop over the past 2 years as she tried to find the perfect spot for her business and her client base. It just seemed wrong to give $10 off services to new clients only when we had been there through it all. She replied by saying she would be doing something for her regular customers soon.
We’ve all seen it done. Businesses that try to increase their customer base by giving discounts and freebies to NEW customers. Cell phone companies are notorious for offering free phones or better contracts to new customers, while the customers they have currently are neglected. Over the 12 years I’ve been in business I have been guilty of doing it myself. Just a few years ago my business offered $25 off business card design, which was only good for new clients. Although from time to time I would offer customer discounts individually, I had never actually created a blanket marketing campaign that let them know just how much I appreciated loyalty by offering discounted services. We had to do better.
Did you know that “the average spend of a repeat customers is 67% more” than the new customers you are trying to acquire? That statistic alone should show businesses just how important customer retention is to their bottom line. All you have to do is put yourself in your customers place to know it is time to stop Romancing New Customers and Fall Back In love with the customers you have. It is time to start thinking and caring about those loyal customers that have been with your company for an extended period of time. I remember the old American Express commercial; the tagline was, “membership has its privileges”; they truly understood the value of customer retention. This is how your current customers should feel about your business. They should be treated so well that they are raving about the products and services you provide them and perks they receive for remaining loyal.
I Love shoes and DSW does an awesome job of letting me know they appreciate my business. The more I buy from them, the more often they send me coupons for $5 to $30 off depending on the size of my purchases. At one point I had so many coupons I was able to buy both my daughter and I, both an expensive pair of shoes and a nice purse totally free. I don’t shop for shoes anywhere else for this very reason. They have shown me that they appreciate my business and they want to ensure I keep coming back.
When you let your current customers know you appreciate them being loyal to you over the years, that you appreciate their business by doing something nice for them, they in turn sing your praises to their friends, their family, their co-workers, etc. You no longer have to worry about how many Facebook Fans or Twitter Followers you have because now your customers are talking about you. Your happy customers now bring you new Fans, Followers, and more customers. They are now your brand advocates; they share the good news of how great your business is and how well you take care of them. Customers who are pampered and treated well, prefer to spend more with your business than to go to your competitor and be treated just like everyone else. Below are a few ideas of ensuring your loyal customers continue loving you.
Get Follow up & Feedback
Follow up with your customers; find out how your products and services are working for them. When you ask your customers for feedback on your products and services it lets them know you want to keep them happy. Taking your customers advice and implementing it is a huge way of keeping your current and new customers satisfied. It is important to sell less and care more.
If you are small business it is ok to talk to your customers, get to know them, learn about their families and try to keep up with birthdays and anniversaries. I love it when my insurance company sends me a birthday card ever year or when they call just to see how I am doing. I love they attention they give me that a large insurance company couldn’t.
Have a customer appreciation day/week by offering rewards to customers that are loyal is a great way of keeping them coming back. Promotional items such as coffee cups, calendars, cellphone power banks, t-shirts, backpacks or customized water bottles are a great way to say thank you. One of my clients has a yearly customer appreciation party. She invites her loyal customers to her house for huge New Years Eve bash and they all have a blast.
Use a referral benefit system
A referral benefit system is awesome when it is used in the right way. Offer your current customers $10 to $20 off or cash in hand for referring a new clientele. This keeps your current customers talking about your business and they receive a reward for doing so.
There a great deal of other ways to reward your current customers for their loyalty. The important message here is to stop focusing so much on acquiring new customers and start taking better care of the ones you have. Your customers will appreciate it and you will find your customer base grow, not due to your marketing efforts to acquire new ones, but because you know how to take care of the ones you have. A Happy customer will always be your company’s biggest asset.Aries – Graphic Design & Internet Marketing / AriesGDIM Tami Highbaugh-Abdullah Creative Marketing Director 317.345.4182 AriesGDIM.com / AriesGraphicDesign.com @ariesgdim – Twitter AriesGDIM Facebook Google+ AriesGDIM
© 2014, AriesGDIM / Tami Highbaugh-Abdullah. All rights reserved.