One of the most effective (and easiest) ways to market is to do so with your current customers, but many people can’t help but get this all wrong.
Gone are the days where the local shopkeeper knew your name, knew where you lived and knew what kind of stuff you liked. Gone are the days where it is the norm to get personal with customers, present individual recommendations and offer unique discounts. But, didn’t both sides benefit from this kind of relationship? I think so.
Think about all the money you’ve spent to get that one customer. Now, isn’t it a complete waste of time and money to think that that customer won’t buy again, and isn’t a fan of your stuff. That’s because that customer has entered your business willingly. Your customers are your customers for a reason. They love your stuff.
More so, a repeat customer can become an ambassador for your business and will spread the word. The more they buy and spread, more and more new customers will buy, and buy from you again. Just think of how many times you’ve seen businesses offer incentives for referring a new customer. The key here is to get it right on the first sale. Handle everything personally, in a friendly manner, and offer everything you can to that customer to make them feel valued. Make customers feel like your ‘friends’.
A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system is absolutely essential at this point. I’ve used one in both B2C and B2B environments and believe me, they’ll come to your aid more than you could ever imagine. Here, I’m talking about documenting every single bit of data you have on that person, including notes of all the contact you’ve had. This is something that can be done cheaply on an Excel spreadsheet, or simply on a piece of paper. So, there’s really no excuse.
Once you have these details down on record, each correspondence with that customer can be enhanced to demonstrate that you care and to show that you understand your customer’s needs. A salesman with knowledge is far more effective than one without. Customers like to deal with businesses they trust, and this is one of the main ways to develop and maintain that trust. That’s how you get your customers buying again.
Your customers don’t want to receive offers that are of no relevance to them. They want tailored offers explaining why they’ll like an offer, which relates back to their previous purchase or purchases. The best way to get yourself into a position to be able to offer such promotions is through constant contact. In a nutshell, it’s all about getting to know your customer, and this is easier than you think. All you need to do is create something specific to that person; a call, an email, a text, a story, a feedback request. That’s super relevant offers, at a discount for that specific customer… just for being a customer!
Basically, as a lot of marketers will tell you, this all comes down to creating positive customer experience after that initial sale. Don’t look to satisfy your customers, look to blow their minds by offering an amazing experience, followed by great customer service. On top of making money, that’s got to be desirable for any business, right?
The best way to get customers/friends tied to your company is through a subscription-based model. This ‘subscription’ model doesn’t need entail monthly payments like what we’ve come to expect, it just needs to include a constant two-way dialogue. Think magazine subscriptions in a creative way for your customers and digital products.
Of course, attracting new customers to your business will always be hugely important. But it’s equally important (especially for small businesses), not to mention more profitable, that you get everything you can out of everything you’ve got. The longer a customer is in your store, the more likely they are to buy more than one thing.
It’s simple. So, why not pick up the phone for just a one-minute conversation with each customer after a few months from that purchase just for a ‘catch-up’? Why not send those customers a card and maybe a discount on their birthday? Why not offer another product to that customer that’s highly relevant to a previous purchase?
It’s all about going back to the old way of doing business with your local trader. That trader would know exactly what you wanted the moment you walked into their store.
One of the best things you can strive to achieve is not for customers to love your products, but for them to love you. So, look to build relationships rather than sales. Create opportunities for a customer to buy off you again and look to have meaningful conversations rather than pitch them your stuff. Generally, look to make ‘friends’!