November 28, 2017 / 0 COMMENT(S)
Sometimes we miss the easy things. In our mad dash to find new customers, we forget to appreciate the ones we have. When I’m working with new clients who want to grow their businesses, one of the first exercises I do is to make concentric circles of all the people they should communicate with on a regular basis. Think of this as the dartboard of communication, with a big, red bullseye in the middle.
Oddly enough, the two groups who belong in the bullseye often get left out when I ask, “Who are your target audiences?”
Those two groups are employees and existing customers.
With employees, it is essential to reinforce organizational goals, so people understand how their work contributes to the organization’s overall success. It is also important to share accomplishments, so people know they’re part of a successful endeavor. Most employees are already invested in the organization. By sharing good news, you’ll engender a sense of pride and cohesion; everyone from janitors to managers will have the information and inclination to promote the organization.
There are two groups in that bullseye: employees and existing customers. Oddly enough, these two groups often get left out when I ask, “Who are your target audiences?”
As for existing customers, while they may not have as much invested as employees, they’ve chosen your product or service over others, and if you treat them right, they’re likely to do so again. Demonstrating your appreciation for customers can result in their loyalty and the most powerful marketing in the world: referrals from a trusted source.
SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION
How can you let your customers know you appreciate them? Lots of ways–you are only limited by your creativity (and budget). How you show appreciation varies on your particular type of business or service, but the very best way to build customer loyalty is to provide amazing service.
Once you’ve implemented gold-star service, here are some additional ways to show your appreciation.
- Ask for feedback about your product and/or service–and use it! Then, let all your customers know you made changes based on customer feedback.
- Reward referrals.
- Create a loyalty program that offers special offers and/or discounts.
- Based on a customer’s purchase, recommend other useful products or services. With permission, refer them to trusted partners.
- Teach your customers something interesting, especially if it helps them appreciate your product or service even more. Offer free webinars and/or invite experts to present topics of interest.
- Refer business to your customers.
- Send a small, unexpected gift every now and then.
If you do nothing else, just be sure to keep in touch with your customers periodically. Of course, it goes without saying that you should always respect customers’ communication preferences; if they say, “Don’t communicate with me,” leave them alone.
Demonstrating your appreciation for customers can result in their loyalty and the most powerful marketing in the world: referrals from a trusted source.
In addition to earning repeat business and referrals, working with current customers can tell you a lot about where you can find new customers. Returning to that dartboard of communication, the concentric circle just outside the bullseye includes potential customers who share many traits with your existing customers. If you have a clear sense of how you meet your current customers’ needs, you can use that information to attract new customers. The more you focus on how you help your customers do what they want to do or be who they want to be, the more your customers will keep coming back.
If you’d like assistance in figuring out who to communicate with and how to formulate effective messages, get in touch! I’d love to help you. And if you’d like to receive a little communication inspiration straight to your inbox, subscribe here.