I am amazed at how many times I’ve moved away from one company, store, or monthly subscription never being asked why. We all know finding new customers is harder than keeping existing ones, so why do some companies seemingly not care?
In today’s information overload, it is easy to miss a customer slipping away and that, in itself, is the biggest problem, because once they are gone its often hard to get them back. Smart companies are in touch with their customers, have personal relationships with their clients, and watch trends in their purchasing habits. How about a customer who buys a case of glasses every month along with other products, then suddenly, the glasses are gone. Would you know? If they switched their glass purchasing to an Internet provider, what products might go next? Did they leave because of price, convenience of ordering at 2 a.m. or because the other company just made purchasing easier, more convenient? Did you lose because someone else developed a better relationship?
Here's ten ideas on keeping customers for life:
- Know your top customers and have personal relationships with them.
- Monitor activity weekly or monthly, depending on your business
- Promote new items, keep your communication fresh and relevant.
- Let them know they are a valued customer: notes, promotions, rebates, etc.
- Contact customers when sales are good—saying thank you.
- Contact customers when sales are dipping—asking what more your company can do.
- Be easy to do business with
- Find ways to save your customers time—it’s more precious than buying something for a few dollars less
- Big customers go out of business, little customers sometimes become big customers—while the 80/20 rule applies, don’t underestimate the potential of smaller accounts.
- Take time to say thank you.
I stopped shopping at a local grocery store recently, one I frequented a lot. It’s been two months and I haven’t heard a word from them and for good reason, they didn’t know who I was or how much I spent. All they know is for some reason their sales are a bit off.
Don’t let that happen to your business: know your customers, make sure they know you and when you do lose one, at least know why.