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Customer Retention

There used to be a clothing store that said “An Educated Consumer Makes the Best Customer” Now when they said that, they were talking about the idea that if a customer knows about fashion and styles and such, they would know what a great bargain they were getting at their store when they purchased discounted clothing from them.

It was an important distinction because someone who didn’t know the actual prices of those item, someone who usually brought their clothes at a big chain retailer or the local mom and pop shop in their neighborhood might get sticker shock and walk out the door thinking “those people must be crazy.”

But, there is a more important aspect to this educating your customer that most business owner overlook.

You see, most business owners focus solely on attracting new customers, getting those leads and upping their conversion rates, but, and this is critical to the longevity of your business, you NEED to dedicate a large portion of your time to retaining current customers and reactivating former customers.

You already know these people are interested in what you have to offer . . . because they’ve already bought something from you! They’ve already raised their hand. To borrow the lyrics of an old Gladys Knight song – They are like diamonds but most business owners treat them like glass. They look right past them trying to capture the new guy.

If you would take the time to market and sell new products to your old customers and less time trying to sell old products to new customers you would see a tremendous change in your sales and customer quality.

This is where educating your customer comes in; because an educated consumer really does make the best customer. Make sure your customers – the people that have already purchased from you once -know that you have more to offer and why they should buy from you again. Let them know that you value their business and that you stand by your products are services . . . In other words, build a relationship with them that insures they’ll keep coming back for more.

Here are some simple strategies you can use to retain your current customers:

  1. Stay in contact: This can be done by phone, email, e-newsletter, in person-on horseback, if needed – whatever it takes -just do it!This means more than simply sending an email about some pending sale or other, it means offering advice about how to use your products and services. Asking about their needs and wants through surveys and other means. Providing solutions to problems or needs your customer may have with tips and other free content. If you have news about your company, present it, in terms of how it affects the customer. In other words, provide contact offering content centered around the customer from YOU or whoever, is the “face” of your business.
  2. After the Purchase Assurance: This means you need to follow up with customers. Your customers need to feel like they are being supported for their purchase and with the item they purchased. How many times have you purchased a product, then felt completely abandoned? Something as simple as a Thank You note with your contact or customer service information can go along way in retaining a great customer.
  3. Deals & Guarantees: Always offer your current customers the best deals and guarantees you have. Show them you appreciate their business or even come up with a club specifically to reward loyal customers. You can also do this with a preferred pricing option.
  4. Integrity: Using good business practices and simply upholding integrity, dignity and honesty go along way with customers. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of swindling and crap out there and the safer and more confident you make your customers feel, the more they will trust you and that makes for an amazingly supportive and loyal customer.

There are three cornerstone ideas to a successful business:

  • Quality product/service
  • Offering useful products/services that solve a problem for or enhance the life of a customer
  • Offer subjects your customers find interesting

Use this approach of educating your customers and offering them real information and insight and you will be rewarded with loyalty and success.

Stop wasting all your time on new prospects while your current customers fall by the wayside!

Jay Abraham says, “Your best prospects are your existing customers. If you’ve been putting all your marketing efforts into acquiring new customers, stop and diverts some of your resources into reselling, upselling, cross-selling to those same customers. In every way possible – through package inserts, regular mailings, special offers – stay in touch with those customers and get them used to buying from you.”

So, there it is! Hope you have a great rest of your day. And, If you liked this post, why not sign-up for my FREE Newsletter and get more useful tips and advice on starting and building your business delivered direct to your in-box each day.