Because people are so focussed on winning new customers it’s often easy to neglect the huge asset you already have - your existing customers.
Once someone has purchased from you they are far more likely to do so again. This really is a key leverage point for your business, especially when you consider that on average it costs 6 times more to win a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one.
Think about that for a minute - 6 times more! What else could you be doing with that money? For one thing you could be going back to your customers more often and encouraging them to do business with you again and again.
So what could you be doing to entice your customers back into your business?
First and foremost, simply ask your customers to come back to you. Most businesses don’t bother!
Another great way is to offer awesome service. That is service that goes beyond the industry average for your business. Do what you do extremely well. Offer better and faster services, provide longer warranties or stronger guarantees. Give customers points to differentiate you from your competitors.
Studies consistently show that 68% of customers will leave you and go to a competitor because of something called “perceived indifference”. That is, they felt you were indifferent towards them and that you didn’t really care whether they bought from you or not.
So, it’s important to nurture the relationship with your customers, just as you would with any other relationship that was truly important to you. Nurturing has to be one of the most cost effective and easiest ways to win more business from your existing customers.
There are hundreds of ways of nurturing your customers. Things like ‘thank you’ letters, invitations to special events like ‘closed door sales’ or ‘product launches’, offering follow up appointments or reminders and so on.
To be able to nurture your customers effectively, you will need to collect information about them so that you can target particular groups. Obviously you will need their names and addresses but all sorts of other information could be relevant too.
A database of information allows you to stay in touch with your customers on a regular basis by sending such things as newsletters, details of special offers, vouchers, reminders, interesting articles, Christmas cards and much, much more.
The more often you make contact with your customers, the more often they will buy from you.
Asking for feedback from your customers can be an excellent way of letting them know that you are truly interested in them. A Customer Advisory Board - where you invite a group of your customers to discuss the service they receive from you - can be an excellent way of demonstrating your commitment and obtaining feedback.
As you can see, there are countless ways of encouraging your existing customers to do more business with you.
Take an idea and implement it your business. Send thank you letters, plan an event just for customers or start asking them for feedback. Find a way to make them buy from you again and again.