Customer Retention Tips - Existing Customers Can Be Your Best Customers

Every business needs new customers, but don't ever forget that your easiest and most predictable source of new revenue is right under your nose.  It comes from the loyal customers who already know your company.  Acquiring new customers is expensive (five to ten times the cost of retaining an existing one), and the average spend of a repeat customer is a whopping 67 percent more than a new one.  So, put some energy into new business development, but make sure your salespeople know that coming up with creative ways to sell more to your current customers is just as important.  Here are some proven techniques to do just that:

1. Think lifetime value, not transactional value. A good way to keep customers coming back to you and not your competition, is to offer incentives that will them coming back for years to come.  Get creative…your bottom line is depending on it!

2. Don’t forget to up sell! "If you are already selling to a client, consider offering them additional products that may have them “uping” their order from you by buying more expensive products or services that will go hand-in-hand with the products they are already buying from you.  Up selling to an existing client can create a whole new revenue stream that you didn’t consider before.  Give it a try!

3. Ok, now how I do up sell to my current clients? Consider offering a complimentary service along with the current products they are buying from you.  If you are selling for example, silver jewelry, why not give your customer complimentary silver cleaning clothes to go with their order?  It’s not going to cost you a bunch, but people love freebies and they will appreciate it!  Use your imagination based upon what you sell.  What can you do?

4. Stay in touch with your customers! Sometimes you may not see your best customers as often as you'd like, so you need to work extra hard to keep yourself on their radar screens. Remember, you are not trying to sell them something every time you contact them, you’re just reminding them you are still there to fulfill their needs.  People appreciate being thought of and not just at selling time.  So, write a note, send an email, or make a call.  It can go a long way to solidifying your buyer-customer relationship.

5. Practice the art of the perfectly-timed pitch. What is a key day to reap additional revenue, and what can you do to capitalize on it?  Is there a day where you can offer existing clients a special discount for them only?  Stores do it all the time for their credit card holders, and it apparently works wonders as they continue to do it.  Everyone likes a special offer and this presents you a great opportunity to boost your sales while making your existing clients very happy.

6. Help your customers sell. If you can help your customer increase their sales, chances are you will not only retain their business but get more of it.  While this may not be easy, offer a suggestion and see what happens.  It certainly can’t hurt and it shows your customer that you truly care about their business

7.  Don’t forget to remind customers of everything you offer. Never assume that even your most reliable customers are completely aware of all the products and services you offer: you need to remind them regularly.  Using a corporate newsletter featuring various aspects of your business and listing all of your products/services may just get their attention and have them contact you for a more complete description.  You may be an expert in a given area to a current customer, but let them know you can also be an expert in other areas as well.

8. Reward Referrals. There is nothing as fine as a personal referral from an existing customer to a totally new contact.  Just make sure you reward your customer for offering up that referral.  Perhaps a nice gift or discount on their next order?  Again, get creative and you will have more and more referrals to go after.  You may also get a referral from the same company, but a different division.  You are now working with Company X in two different divisions boosting your ROI.  But don’t forget that reward!!

It cannot be stressed enough that your current customers can be our best source for new business.  How should you go about such a goal?  Continue to service the heck out of them, ensure their satisfaction, and always be there to offer up additional products/services.  Your ROI will go up making it a win-win for both parties.