customers loyal ...
figures vary by industry, but its seems generally accepted that it
costs something like 7-10 times
more to find and do business with a new customer than it
does to do business with an existing one.
building a customer retention programme should be top of your list
of things to do! Here's a couple of tips ...
good start point to building a customer retention programme is to
look at communication. How often (if at all) do you
communicate with your existing customers? Is it regular or
haphazard? What type of communication takes place? Is it you
communicating with them or them communicating with you?
ask many business people these type of questions and it never
ceases to astound me how many only communicate with their customers
through invoices! You can just imagine how valued the customer
out a programme of communications to existing customers is not
difficult. It just takes a bit of time and some lateral
thinking. Once you've planned what type of communication is
suitable and how often it can be used without being annoying, then
you must absolutely stick to it. I see many communication
programmes created with the best of intentions lapse after only two
or three months due to 'pressure of the day job'.
rare that I meet people who complain that their suppliers over
communicate ... though many do complain that suppliers
miscommunicate, i.e. send irrelevant material.
communication programme created with care for your customers will
pay for itself many times over in incremental business.
Incremental business that doesn't cost the 7-10 times premium of
finding a new customer.
Whilst keeping in touch with your customers is a great
idea, in itself it's not enough to keep them
The biggest swinger in the customer loyalty stakes is
the quality of product and service that you supply. That's
probably why they bought from you in the first
So why not make sure that your existing customers
always get the very best service? That's not to say that you
should give new customers a poor service, but maybe you could offer
something extra to existing ones. How about extended
payment terms? How about loyalty-based price discounts?
How about earlier access to new
There are lots of areas of preferential service that
you could offer to existing customers that wouldn't make your offer
to new customers uncompetitive. And once the new customers buy
regularly from you, they can then get offered the 'extras'
A warning though - beware of overt customer loyalty
schemes. These breed loyalty to the scheme rather than the
supplier. As soon as the scheme is retired, the loyalty
evaporates and is often redirected to another supplier's
Consistently giving the best customer experience is
the surest way to generate true customer
and working pragmatically like this will help you to make
your marketing work better for you in a more memorable way.
This means that your target customers will be able to differentiate
your products and services from those of your competitors and
clearly see the value in buying from you.
If you would like some advice on memorable
marketing techniques for your own business, or you know someone
at another business who might need help, then please contact Adduce Marketing.
The sooner you start, the sooner you will benefit.
Download this handy guide which explains how to
get the best from utilising Direct Mail in order to improve
the Chartered Institute of Marketing as part of
their Directors' Briefing series, this document makes easy
reading for business people of all experience
free service to small businesses in the Buckinghamshire, Berkshire
and Oxfordshire area, the Marketing Effectiveness Assessment
delivers a professional audit of how a business is using the tools
of marketing to communicate to existing and potential customers. It
also includes a series of simple and cost-effective marketing
activities that the business can implement immediately and at low
Download the factsheet now.
Chartered Institute of Marketing
Marketing UK (information portal)