Remember that it costs a lot more to acquire new customers than to retain the ones you’ve got. Winning new customers while retaining your existing customers is one of the most challenging aspects of running a business, but there are many ways to go about it.
1) Deliver on all your promises
Develop an environment that shows you are “easy to do business with”, that you can handle complaints, and that you mean what you say. Remember, it’s important to deliver on all your promises. Unhappy customers not only do not purchase again, most will share that bad experience with others!
2) Build Trust
This is a key point for your business! If you do not earn the trust of your existing and new customers you will not have a sustainable business.
a) Do your research and understand who your customers are. With thorough research will help you prepare, identify potential issues, and it will also help you decide whether a certain customer is worth the attention
b) Choose your customers carefully. Learn to walk away and “say no”. Remember, a problem customer could cause major issues for your business such as lengthy payment periods, public complaints about your firm, and/or not being paid!
c) Find out who makes the buying decisions and focus your attention on them. Do not allow time-wasters to impact your business; concentrate on those individuals with influence
3) Develop your marketing programs to support your business
When you know the demographics of your targeted customer your can develop your marketing plans. Identify what channels to use to reach your customers.
a) Decide what your marketing tools will be (print, electronic, personal networking)
b) Ensure they support your budget
c) Be clear on what makes you different in all of your marketing
You can never prepare enough. Before going to visit your customer, attend a meeting, or call them on the phone, ensure that you are 100% prepared.
Research their history and anticipate any problems that may arise. Address the questions that will be thrown at you so you can handle any objections. Remember, that preparation will help you prepare a prevention plan which can work better than a time-consuming business cure for an unhappy customer and help you retain them while you address the business issue.