We all want new customers so making an offer specifically for them makes sense, right?

As a consumer, here is my problem:

Why would I go back to a store I have been loyal to and find myself standing next to a first timer who gets a better deal than me? Or whose name you know better. Or who you’re happier to see.

 

Loyalty

I have received great service, love the product, gotten lazy as I know where to get what I want / need. But that isn’t always enough. It will only continue if another great deal does not pop up at the right time (I like a great deal as much as the next person.)

Loyalty works both ways. If you want loyal customers, you need to be loyal to Creating customer loyalty and the art of following upthem. Don’t forget to reward your current customer base. They are the ones who have kept your doors open. Throw them a bone too. They will make the decision to keep buying or even increase their purchasing with you if you make it worthwhile.

Those relationships have already been established but they still need nurturing. Often it is much easier to maintain a relationship than to find a new one.

To be clear, you don’t need to buy their love. Punch cards and discount clubs are great, but it’s not always about dollars and cents. It could be priority customer service. It could be a simple ‘How are you doing today” phone call. It could be calling them by name when you greet them.

It’s whatever works for your business and personality – as long as it reminds them that they are special to you.

 

The Value in Following Up

When you have not heard from a customer, how about a follow up call? Or a personalized card. It could even be a simple reminder.

I know of a construction company who send out annual post cards reminding people to schedule maintenance work. Guess what? Their customers appreciated it!

Realtors are trained in the 12 & 8 touches. The first year they contact the client 12 times.  E-mails, cards for birthdays and holidays… even just a “I’m here if you have a question’ cards. The next year, 8 times.

It’s time consuming but you can use Send Out Cards or any other relationship / contact management tool. Please use something though.

Following up strengthens the relationship you’ve created with your customer and builds customer loyalty. It’s not rocket science. It’s just good business sense.

 

There’s Always An Exception:

Depending on your business, loyalty programs may not be appropriate. How often a follow up is required (and it may never be or be allowed) can vary. What will not – that treating new customers better than existing ones – is not a good practice.

 

How are you rewarding your customer base?

What follow up systems do you have in place?

Do you know if they are working?

 

Image credit: Creative Commons 3 – CC BY-SA 3.0; NY – nyphotographic.com; December 2015

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