This is one of the first questions I ask small business owners in my consulting business. How do you communicate with your customers?
The answer is often, that they don’t! This is especially true in small businesses.
Sometimes they are in an affiliate business and their customers are not their own. So they don’t really have a way to communicate with them. Other times they just don’t understand the value of their customers.
When I begin working with a client my first task is to get them to understand the importance of their existing customers. Studies show that it is easier to sell an existing customer than it is to get a new customer. Existing customers who have had a good experience are often willing to purchase additional products/services from your company. Who better to get referrals from than your existing customers. If you want to build up a referral business then you need to build strong customer relationships.
So how do you build strong customer relationships?
The first step is to communicate with your customers!
Now, how do you go about communicating with your customers?
There are basically 4 ways to communicate with them.
1. By Email
2. By Direct Mail
3. By Telephone
4. In Person
I’ll talk more about how to communicate with your customers in future articles. At this time however I want you to think about your customers. How much information do you have on your customers?
Do you have their email address? Do you have their mailing address? How about their phone number? Do you know anything about them other than the basics? Do you know if they have kids? Do you know what they do for a living? Do you know when their birthday is?
So then next step will be talking about how you can gather information from your customers with their permission! Take some time out and think about it. Think about the information you have now, and the information you’d like to be able to collect from them… and what ways you might be able to come up with to encourage your customers to freely give you that information. Then later we’ll talk about how you can use that information in your customer loyalty programs and in building that customer relationship.
- Ben FittsIf you enjoyed this post get free updates via email or RSS here.