This is unfortunately an easy sin to fall prey to. You will (hopefully) be in the habit of telling the people in your life how amazing they are and stopping every now and then to sniff the roses and appreciate just how sweet you have it – even if it doesn’t always feel like it. And there’s the rub, it doesn’t always feel like that so you don’t always express it.
Pots of Loveliness
If you’re not the touchy-feely type who wants to hug people, look at your existing customers as lovely big pots of money. You worked hard to find customers that were a great match for you and what you do, you started to build something between you so that they could trust that your product would help them with their particular issue and they gave you a lovely pot of money. So now that they already know how great you are together, give them a reason to stay with you and not take those lovely pots somewhere else. Keep them feeling cherished, they are your ideal customer.
Love your Customers
One of the reasons customers drift away is because they feel like you stop caring, you stop wooing them and anticipating their every need and taking them out for dinner and buying them nice things. Ok, so maybe not the last bit – but at one time or another you’ve felt like you’ve been taken for granted by some ungrateful so-and-so and you’ve thought how nice life would be with someone else who did look after you. And customers are exactly the same, they want to know that you appreciate the cash they give you for your product and they want it to be like in the old days when you were on the phone to them talking about their business and finding out how you can help them.
How can I help you?
The best thing you can do for your customers is listen, keep on listening to the problems that they have and how things are going. Cheer with them over their successes and let them know that you are always a phone call, email, carrier pigeon or signal flare away if they need you.
If you can make time to regularly call your clients to find out how they are doing, not hammer them to give you more money, but show them that you genuinely care about them and their business -then do it. You know you’d think nothing of chasing a great potential customer down the block and rugby tackling them so you can have the chance to talk to them – it’s even easier to talk to your existing great customers.
If you can’t scale that kind of personal service, then creating a communication system that allows you to interact with them on a regular basis will reap rewards. Regular newsletters, being available on social media and the occasional hard copy mail out all add up to keeping the spark going.
I can help with that
The great part about customer communication is that occasionally you will hear a grumble that you can help with. And chances are if you hear it from one customer, three or four others may be having the same problem.
If you have come across something, then sharing with your customers in a clear fashion tell them exactly how you can help and what difference it will make to them. They are busy with their problem and don’t need to engage in a guessing game with you as to whether you can assist them or not.
Can I quote you on that?
Customers are also your best source of referrals and testimonials. In a 2013 study by Marketprobe International 86% of respondents said they are more likely to visit a SMB if a friend recommended them. So let your customers know how much you value their referrals, create a refer-a-friend reward system where you give them something they genuinely want in return for them telling their friends just how blooming marvellous you are! And if they come out and tell you how great you are- ask them if you can quote them on it. Would they be willing to be a testimonial case for you? And don’t ask them two weeks after they tell you, ask them right away! Write down the gist of what they said and send it to them and ask if it’s ok to let people know that they think you’re great.
So how do you keep the romance alive with your customers?