I think I see a raised eyebrow from many of you. But it's true. All businesses have current customers. I’m sure you will also have lapsed and lost customers too. Getting these customers back will mean that you can increase your margin for much less than the cost of acquiring a new client.
This is a short-term tactic but if you embed it into your business processes it will continually deliver you a higher profit margin.
Everyone knows it's more expensive to secure a brand-new client than it is to get more business from our existing clients. We also know that whilst we are hard at work chasing new clients we are probably leaking existing customers because they are feeling unloved.
So here are 10 tactics you could employ quickly and easily.
1. Lapsed and Dormant Customers. Pull out a list of these customers from your accounts package or CRM system. Set the parameters to indicate those that have not purchased within your customers normal repurchasing cycle. Now, it shouldn’t be difficult to re-establish the relationship again and generate new sales. Think about segmenting these customers and developing targeted messages – they may need an incentive to come back to you but sales should start again.
2. Drifting Customers. These are usually customers who have been regular purchases for a time and then suddenly, and quietly, they haven't purchased for a couple of months. This may indicate that they are drifting away, perhaps using an alternative supplier, so re-contacting them would be a great tactic here to stop them drifting away.
3. Reconnect with Existing Customers. There are a number of reasons to do this. Firstly you need to understand what they want; ask them it's not too difficult; thank them for the business and then remind them about other products that they might also find valuable if purchased from you. If you don't value them and provide them with solutions to their problems somebody else will.
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4. Gaps in Your Sales Process. Very few businesses have a watertight sales process. The result is leads or potential customers entering the sales funnel, then sometimes getting lost or mislaid. Review your sales process and see where there are gaps where customers might have dropped out of the process. Work hard to plug those gaps this will help you make sure the potential customers aren’t lost.
5. Upsell and Side Sell. If your customer is buying your basic or mid-range product there is always the opportunity to upsell them to a premium product. You should also be looking at the type of products they are buying and seeing what complimentary products you could sell alongside – the side sell.
6. Customers on "stop". How can you help these customers to get back into purchasing mode? Getting the money is vital but if you work with your credit control department you can make sure that they are not ‘blocking’ the process.
7. Act on complaints and feedback. Ignore these at your peril. They are sometimes the greatest learning opportunity. As Bill Gates said "most unhappy customers will be your greatest source of learning"
8. Engage All Staff in Customer Service. It’s not just the sales and the customer services team that should be focused on customer services, every employee should put the customer at the heart of everything they do. Change a ‘can't do’ or ‘won’t do’ attitude of your staff into a ‘can-do’ attitude, is a great place to start.
9. Long Term Agreements. Consider locking-in customers with long-term agreements and contracts. Once agreements are in place, don’t ignore the client – keep the proactive relationship going and actively up-sell and side sell.
10. Multi Contact Points. Make sure that you have multiple contact points with all of your clients and customers. So if somebody leaves your client employ, you will still have good contacts at your clients business and so can continue to maintain a relationship with the remaining staff.
All these tactics will help you make more money from the same number of customers!
What other tactics do you use to get the most out of your existing customers?
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