One of the easiest most cost effective ways to grow your business is to sell more to your existing customers. After all they know you, trust you and have already purchased in the past so are far more likely to purchase your products and services again.
Here are 17 easy ways to keep your customers coming back, at the same time growing your business and profits!
Not all these will be relevant to every business, but I am sure you’ll find at least one you can implement today.
The golden rule for success in business is to get your customers to believe that they’re more important to you than anyone else.
- Send a thank-you letter within two days of the customer’s purchase. If possible, send a note the next day. It can be a handwritten note on a standard card—though a professionally-typed letter is better. Other variations include sending a cartoon with your caricature to say thank you, or simply a cartoon card. All of these will depend on who your customer is, and how much they’ve spent.
- Send an offer of a product and/or service that’s related to what they already bought—usually after a month. Offer a discount or special deal. If you can’t offer any complementary product and/or service, find a business that does and offer their products. You can also get that business to do the same with their customers and offer your products and/or services.
- If you sell products that use consumables, use the date-of-sale records from your database to predict when your customers will be ready to buy these consumables. This is to ensure that sending your ‘special offers’ will be just in time. Use the same technique for products with a definite use-by date.
- Send out a questionnaire once every 3-6 months to see what your customers want NOW. This can also show you if your market has changed. Use the feedback to update your database and refine your product and services mix.
- If you have a small number of highly loyal customers, continue to acknowledge them in simple ways like sending birthday and Christmas cards to them.
- Try a telemarketing exercise. Ring up a customer with a brief message about a special or new product they might be interested in. If possible, make the offer free or give an incentive that provides a genuine saving or deal for existing customers only.
- Send out a regular email newsletter to your customers. Inform them about what’s happening in your industry, community or area. Give tips relating to whatever business you’re in. If you run out of ideas, contact another business to share the newsletter—and even its costs.
- Run a customer contest that only existing customers can enter. This rewards them for being your “loyal” customer who continuously avails your products and/or services.
- In appropriate instances, you may be able to ask for referrals. You can try saying something along the lines of, “If you thought that we did a great job, we’d really appreciate it if you could send us the names of three people who could also benefit from our product/service.” You can also ask for your business’s name to be passed on to anyone the customer may see as needing your help. Sometimes, you can also include a special deal for their friends.
- If you have a new product or new technology to be released, hold a ‘customer-only’ preview. Supply some refreshments.
- Have a sale that’s available only to existing customers. Send them an invitation that shows how special they are.
- You can also offer existing customers first choice at your sale for a certain period before the actual sale starts.
- Try sending a letter/card/email that doesn’t try to sell anything and simply keeps them informed on interesting facts. This way, they don’t always associate hearing from you with hard sell. They can now look forward to receiving helpful information from you.
- If your customers spend a lot on your business, you can send them relevant items such as CDs or videos.
- Send customers a catalogue of all your products and offer to direct mail to them anything they need.
- Offer preferred customers a special PIN number or password allowing them to log in to exclusive sections of your website that others can’t access.
- Come up with a special anniversary offer one year after the customer first bought products from you.
Whatever kind of business you own, it is a must to keep in contact with your existing customers, build goodwill, and positive word of mouth. By making them feel privileged and special, you’re preventing the possibility of your customer being lured away by the competition.
Prove that competitors can’t possibility take care of customers the way you do!