According to customer retention experts, it costs about 5 times more to get a new customer then it does to retain a current one, and that’s just monetarily . The actual cost might be much greater if you include the time necessary to acquaint them with your company and your working style.
Given that a lot of companies aren’t even sure how to get a new customer in the first place, we’d say it’s a lot simpler to keep your current ones coming back. So what does it take to keep your customers coming back to you? A little appreciation, saying hello every now and then, and a few other very easy tasks.
Be Up Front and Honest About Everything
Don’t commit the mistake of under-charging for your work, but please make sure your customer is well aware of all charges. Make sure that you both know exactly what is expected out of every purchase, and you will be well on your way to creating a lasting bond.
Always Say Please and Thank You
Never tell a customer they have to do something. Nobody likes being forced. Always ask: “would you please send me that information as soon as you get a chance?” And then always remember to thank them for everything they do for you.
Thank Them For Their Business
I know we mentioned this just a minute ago, but it really is important. You should always thank a customer for their business. Make them feel really appreciated – they are, after all, putting the food on your table.
Give Them Something Extra When the Opportunity Arises
Going that extra little step will always pay off big time. Doing something extra, even if it’s really small, will show them that you honestly care about them. It will guarantee that they always turn to you when they are in the market.
Throw in That Personal Touch
This is where being a small business is a huge advantage. Big companies go to great lengths to make things look handwritten. It’s much easier for you – that trusty old pen and paper is just a drawer away. Also, remembering all of your customers names scores big bonus points (try that if you have a 1000 employee corporation).
Pay Your Customers a Compliment
Giving out compliments is good advice in general, and when it’s in a business setting it’s almost silly not to. The key with giving compliments is to make sure they are heartfelt and meaningful. If done properly, you’ll make your customers feel good about themselves and brighten their day a little. Pretty soon they’ll connect that happiness with you; and then you have a customer for life
Ask Them For More
You might be amazed with this one, if it’s done correctly. After you’ve finished working with a client or serving a customer, tell them that you enjoyed their company and would love to work with them again (notice the compliment thrown in there too). This little step can be extremely effective.
Following all of these may seem difficult at first, but with practice it becomes a lot easier. Start with one or two, and gradually build up until you’re using several of them with all of your customers. You will be amazed at how effective these tiny little measures can be.