Maintain Customer Relationships with 4 Simple Tactics
If you’ve run a business for any length of time, you know that finding new customers is difficult. New customer acquisition is more expensive and time consuming than customer retention. It would make sense, then, to maximize on your exposure and try to maintain customer relationships. Unfortunately, we find that many people do not do just that! You could be sitting on a gold mine – but if your existing customer contact information is sitting there collecting dust, you are letting it all go to waste.
Simple Tips to Maintain Customer Relationships
Luckily, there are a few simple ways to maintain customer relationships. Here are four simple ways to keep in touch with your existing client base and take advantage of the time spent capturing those customers and the years of skill development required to WOW those clients.
1 — Direct Follow Up’s and Thank You’s
It sounds simple, but many people forget about this basic tenet of customer care. To maintain customer relationships – after you’ve taken care of your client’s home or business needs, it is important to care for them as a person. No matter what speed bumps may have been in the road during the customer relationship building process – closing out the job with a positive interaction can help convert a negative experience into a positive one. If you don’t do it already, repeat a very simple two step thank you process every time you finish a job.
First – Follow up with your voice. Make a follow up phone call the day after the job is complete. This allows you to again thank your customer while allowing you to verify there are no lingering concerns that could lead to an unsatisfactory review.
Second – A week after that, send a simple thank you card. Just like you have branded letterhead and envelopes, you could also invest in some branded thank you cards – it demonstrates professionalism and assists with top-of-mind awareness for your clients.
2 — Incentivize Past Clients With A Referral Program
Now that you’ve amazed your previous clients, you can put them to work! Especially if they feel like you’ve gone above and beyond for them, past clientele should be very open to spreading the word about your good services. Establish a referral program – which you could market via your website and support print marketing like special business cards or postcards.
As a thank you for referring a friend or family member to use your services, you can reward your past customer (the referrer) with a gift card or cash. Consider that this incentive cost to deliver a customer – who will likely have an inherent trust in what you do because of the glowing review from your past customer – may be a small hurdle now, but it could be much less expensive and more effective than traditional customer acquisition tactics. Rewarding your past client’s is a great way to maintain customer relationships.
3 — Stay In Touch By Staying Social
Getting in front of your clients, even when they aren’t in need at the moment, is important for top-of-mind awareness for your business. Social media, when done right, can be a great way to maintain customer relationships online. For it to be done well, you really have to be involved and care about how you communicate with your past, current, and potential clients. If you’re the social type, take a moment to think about the businesses and vendors that you follow on the social media platforms of your liking. Chances are, they aren’t just talking business 24/7. While the technical details of how this particular model of compressor works may be of interest to you, your average customer won’t care.
So your business social media feeds should keep that in mind – find a balance when posting your social media content. Some posts should be on target for your company and your service offerings. Other posts should be about your community, your staff members, and your customers. Being relevant and timely, without being too polarizing, is a must. Social media really requires input from the local level to be done well, so while we do offer Social Media Management services, your online marketing efforts should never be a set-it-and-forget-it operation.
4 — Getting Into Their Homes With Print and Email Newsletters
While social media is a great way to find people on their computers and devices on a regular basis, it does require constant attention and regular posting. Newsletters, on the other hand, have a reduced frequency. By reaching out to your clients once a month via a hard copy newsletter (like our “Around The House” Newsletter for all Footbridge Media clients) or via an email newsletter set-up (like our Email Marketing Program) – you can stay in front of your client base and maintain customer relationships in a more manageable way.
Print newsletters can be dropped off at job sites or sent via snail mail to your customer base. Email newsletter addresses should always be ones that are specifically “opted in” to your marketing. Just like social media, your newsletters should have a healthy balance of quality, general interest content and specific self-promotion.