If you’re spending tons of money on attracting new customers, you’re making a huge mistake. Businesses that are growing tend to spend so much of their time and money acquiring new customers that they often overlook their best source of growth: retaining and growing their existing customer base.
Believe it or not, it costs five- to 10-times more to acquire a new customer, than it does to keep an existing customer and the best way to retain customers is by promoting customer loyalty.
For this reason, the best way to become profitable is to have loyal customers who keep coming back again and again. It’s all about relationship building. So what can you do?
Customers Aren’t as Loyal as They Used to Be
It used to be that customers would find one service that met their needs and stay with it for absolutely years. Now, though, customers are fickle, and can all-too-easily be tempted away by a competitor’s offer if they feel that it sounds cheaper or better than yours. So-called ‘loyalty management’ has become more of a science than it ever used to be, and it’s one that you need to make use of if you don’t want to be constantly failing to retain your customers.
Be Crazy About Feedback
You need to phone up as many customers as you can to get their feedback after they deal with you. Make sure they were satisfied with what you provided, offer to fix anything that they’re not happy with, and ask them if they can think of any way you could improve. Customers will appreciate this — and they’ll like it even more if you actually implement their suggestions.
Offer Discounts for Repeat Business
You will see some businesses who give people a ‘first-time’ discount, as a hook to get people to try their services. This is entirely the wrong way to do it. What you should be trying to do is reward loyalty by giving people a discount each time they use your services. Over time, this makes it so that moving to the competition looks like a ridiculous proposition for them — why would they when they get a 20% discount from you every time?
Provide a Personal Service
Go the extra mile to make your customer feel like they’re your friend, and not just a tracking number in your database. Tailor everything you do to their needs, and make everything easy for them — don’t leave them to do legwork that you could be doing. After all, they’re the customer.
Finally, cheesy as it might sound, customers really appreciate a little thank you note when you’ve received their payment. For an extra personal touch, you could handwrite it.