How to reconnect with existing customers
Learn the importance of your existing customer base and how to strengthen those customer relationships.
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Hi. I'm Ashley Meyers for the Wells Fargo Business Insight Series. Today we're talking about ways business owners can show their appreciation to their existing customers. Joining me is Melinda Emerson, the Small Biz Lady, and author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months. Thanks for joining me, Melinda.
It's great to be here, Ashley.
Melinda, I recently read a survey that said the number one objective for business owners is acquiring new customers. While generating new leads is important, I know the ability to cultivate repeat business plays a huge role in the future success of any business. Can you talk about the important role existing customers play in the sales and marketing mix?
To illustrate the importance of repeat customers, I want to take a step back and talk about the four primary goals of marketing which are: to attract new customers, sell more products to existing customers, sell more expensive products to existing customers, and to persuade customers to refer you additional business. You will notice that three out of the four goals involve your existing customer base. That's because over the long run it's cheaper to keep a customer than it is to go out and find a new one.
Once someone has already done business with you, you've established a relationship. If you take the time to cultivate that relationship through follow-up, thank you notes, email marketing, and special sale offers, it's far easier to go back and make another sale or create an upsale, particularly if your customer was happy with your product or service.
That makes sense.
So, if a business owner has lost touch with some of their current customers, how can they reconnect with them?
In your newsletter, you can include things like helpful content. It could be original content or it could be repurposed content, maybe from your blog or somewhere else. You also really, you just want to position yourself as an invaluable resource to your customers. You definitely want to be sending out discount alerts. By sending a discount offer to valued customers, that's a great way to bring them back in your store.
A new product launch is also something important you want to communicate. You always want to communicate any social media updates. You should tell your customers when you're launching a new social media campaign. You always want to have in your email signature or any time you communicate with your customer all the ways they can connect with you: through your website, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Foursquare. Whatever you're using, you want to make sure that you make sure they know how they can connect with you in social media.
And certainly you want to invite them to special events. You want to maybe consider bringing your top customers to a sporting event or maybe a charity ballet. You never know what your customers might be interested in.
I really like the idea of using an e-newsletter to reach out to current customers, but what about when you want to reward your best customers? Is this where a loyalty program might come into play?
Loyalty programs are a great way to build long-term relationships with your customers. Here's a few tips for creating a successful customer loyalty program. First, choose a structure that makes the most sense for your business and insure the rewards are attainable and realistic. Second, drive awareness. Use your website and email blasts, as well as social media to promote your program. Finally, let people opt-in. Allow your customers to join your loyalty program by filling out a form in-store or online or if you're at a trade show, use a registration app on your smart phone to allow them to click and join right on the spot.
Thanks, Melinda. I think these tips will really help business owners generate more sales from their current customer base.
My pleasure, Ashley.
And thank you for joining us for this segment of the Wells Fargo Business Insight Series. To learn more about how Wells Fargo Business Banking can help you, visit wellsfargo.com/biz. In the meantime, we wish you continued success.