HBR say's it costs businesses five to twenty five times as much to grab a new customer than it does to retain one you already have. There is much truth in this, and yet many businesses focus more readily on trying to sell goods or services to new customers.
No doubt you are aware of a few major companies that consistently offer great deals to new customers, while all but ignoring their existing ones. And they wonder why some people vote on that with their feet, seeking out a great deal with the competition instead of staying put.
Now, think about your business. Are you guilty of doing what so many larger companies do, and ignoring the people who have already entrusted you with their business? If so, it’s not too late to do something about it. Here are some pointers to help you make the most of every customer you have.
Staying in contact
Never break contact with existing customers. Maintaining contact is easier than ever now, thankfully, because we have email lists we can use. Staying in touch on a weekly or monthly basis is the best way to make sure your business doesn’t get forgotten.
Providing privileged deals for existing customers
Look after the customers you already have. Send a special deal occasionally, or every time you send that email list a message. Make it a good one, too. Explore the idea of creating deals, package deals perhaps, or honouring your existing customers in some other way.
Special offers for those who haven’t purchased for a while
If it’s been a while since someone has ordered anything from you, make sure you have an offer ready to tempt them back with. You don’t want to lose them to the competition, and reminding them you’re there can be a great way to make sure you stand a chance of getting some more orders.
Focus on existing customers as well as new ones
Some business owners get stuck on attracting new customers and forget about the ones they already have. Others do the exact opposite. But as you can see here, the best course of action is to focus on doing both. Look at your marketing activities and remember they should be targeted towards both new and established customers. Taking two different tacks will make this easier to achieve, and ensure no one is left out of the process. This gives you the best shot at developing your business in a strong way.
Existing customers can be worth far more than new ones
Every business needs new customers, of course. There will always be existing customers who leave for some unknown reason. Furthermore, many business owners will want to grow their businesses. But to ignore the existing customer is to miss one of the biggest and easiest sources of revenue any business could have.
So, while new customers are worth a considerable amount, existing ones are arguably worth far more. What are you doing to retain yours?