Customer Retention & Referrals
Investing money in your marketing to bring in new customers is one thing, but are you utilising the client base you already have? Remember you have already laid the groundwork and overcome the toughest challenge; these customers already know you, like you (with hope) and have purchased from you.
Using your client database to your advantage doesn’t mean flogging the same services or products time and time again, hoping they will simply re-hire or re-purchase; it’s time to take it to the next level.
Firstly, ensure you have a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) program in place to capture the important details of your customers for future use and do your best to keep this up to date. Up to date does not just include contact information, but important notes regarding phone calls and written correspondence as well. Sometimes you may have a customer that you do not wish to work with again in the future- this feeling may be mutual and the last thing you want to do is have this person contacted by a member of staff who wasn’t in the know. On the positive side, this system can be used to record information about special occasions such as business successes.
Incentivise repeat business and a bigger spend:
- Give customers a reason to return at non-peak times when, in slower conditions, your team might be underutilised.
- Emphasise the value customers are getting from your brand as opposed to competitors.
- Make sure your sales team are trained in upselling techniques – ‘would you like fries with that?’ – and structure product offerings or value-add services accordingly.
This includes anything that says ‘these people purchased/used our service and it worked for them’. Customer testimonials should have a prominent place in your marketing message. Contrary to popular belief, testimonials don’t just happen automatically because a customer is happy- you need to ask for them. If your customer has time to fill in a survey or answer your questions; great, but don’t forget to encourage positive personal statements on Facebook, LinkedIn and review sites such as Yelp.
Programs that give customers a reward for referring a friend to your business are a good low cost marketing strategy. Online forums can also provide valuable word of mouth marketing. Referrals are much the same as testimonials-you need to ask for them. For example “Who do you know that could benefit from an experienced and professional plumber/electrician etc?”
For more information on creating referral programs or building strategic partnerships, contact PROTRADE United today.