Connecting With the Most Important People In Your Business
The most valuable commodity in your business is not your inventory of gemstones and jewellery. Rather, it is your database of past and current customers. If you want your business to stay profitable and succeed over the long term it is critical to make the most of this valuable base of customers by reaching out to them in a variety of ways. This kind of proactive outreach is the best way to stay connected with your customers, build and strengthen their loyalty, and keep them coming back for repeat business year after year after year.
What is the value of a past or current customer?
It may be hard to put an exact value on a past or current customer, but most business experts will tell you it costs anywhere from five to ten times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing customer. This is a huge amount of money and should be a major driving force behind your efforts to reach out to your customer base.
Another way to measure the value of a past or current customer is to look at their past purchases, their potential future purchases, and the referrals or recommendations they give that attract new customers to your business. In fact, referrals and recommendations are the single biggest reason why most new customers will come into your business, just another example of how taking care of your current customers is an extremely cost effective way to bring in new business over the long term.
The best ways to reach out to your customer base
So how exactly can you reach out to your customer base efficiently and effectively? There are a number of methods you can use, both traditional and modern. Some examples include:
Regular contact – Maintaining regular contact with your customer base can be done in a huge variety of ways. You might send out a quarterly newsletter via regular mail or email, or send a message when you have a particularly interesting promotion or activity going on in the business. The key here is not to overdo it by bombarding customers with contact, but rather to “touch base” with them just enough to keep your business in their mind in a positive way.
Treat them as a friend – A good way to personalise your interactions with the customer base is to treat each one as you would a friend. Send a note to them on their birthday, remind them periodically that you’re happy to clean their fine jewellery for them at no charge, congratulate them on an anniversary, and other happy occasions.
Ask them for their preferences – In today’s world most people are bombarded with messages (especially email) each and every day, so ask each customer about their contact preferences. Do they want to receive email? Regular mail? A telephone call? And how often are they comfortable hearing from you – once a month? Every three months? Every six months? Once you know each customer’s contact preferences you can set up your outreach program to match each person’s preferences and comfort level.
These outreach efforts may not seem very important, but nothing could be further from the truth. What sets you apart as a small to medium size business is your ability to provide personalised attention to each customer, so when you use this characteristic to your advantage you are in a much better position to be successful.
What are you doing to maintain regular contact with your customers?