Another guest article (I love great experts!!) for you to hopefully find interesting:
Strategy #1: Customer Retention
Whatever you do, make sure you do whatever you can to keep your current customers. Customer retention is absolutely critical.
This economy makes customer retention strategies even more important because customer loyalty has weakened.
You need a customer retention plan. Keep in mind that it doesn’t need to be costly, time-consuming or difficult. You just need a few simple steps and always make it a priority:
1. Contact your top customers or clients regularly. Make a list of your top customers, at least 10-25. Call them each at least quarterly. Call, send notes, send articles and information that may be of interest.
2. Keep your name in front of all your customers. Advertise regularly. Network regularly. Send e-mail newsletters regularly. The key is doing this regularly.
3. Give your current customers good deals. We’re all used to come-on deals to attract new customers, but we then fail to offer similar discounts to current customers. Remember, your competitors are targeting your customers with deals.
4. Surprise them! Do something special and unexpected for some of your best customers. Send them a small gift. Add something extra to their order.
5. Keep track. Start a database, update your database, contact manager, digital address book. I’m always surprised by the number of businesses — especially small businesses — that do not have a good database of their past customers. Find a way to keep track of all your clients — past and present — so that you can easily and quickly contact them. Your database is GOLD.
6. Communicate, communicate, communicate. All of us, myself included, take our customers for granted. As a result, we get so focused on doing our work, that we don’t take enough time out to meet with, talk to, and more importantly, listen to, our customers. Stay in touch. Ask them what they need and want. Be part of their lives and business.
A customer is a terrible thing to waste.
Copyright 2011. Reprinted with permission from Barbara Wold’s Retail & Consumer Tips, email@example.com. To occasionally reprint portions of this newsletter, permission is not required. To reprint more than one article, please contact us at 949-675-8845 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you received this from someone else and would like to sign up for your own complimentary subscription, email@example.com.