When most people think of marketing, their minds automatically turn toward finding ways to attract new customers. In the process, they’re overlooking one key customer segment, and that could be costing them enormously.
Who is this precious group? Their existing customers.
Why existing customers are so critical
It costs an estimated 6 to 7 times more to attract new customers than to retain existing ones. Neglecting your existing customers doesn’t just waste time and money; it cuts into the bottom line, as you continually search for enough new customers to replace those who leave.
Existing customers can be excellent resources for expanding your consumer base. Customers in general are much more trusting of referrals they receive from friends and family than they are of advertising produced by a company itself. This is also true of reviews on websites and review sites. Taking the time to cultivate a fantastic customer experience will not only help encourage customers to come back, but will also lead to more referrals and positive reviews, which can increase your customer base and improve your reputation.
Encouraging customers to come back
To encourage your customers to return to you time and again, you must create a superior customer experience from the moment they first interact with your brand. Part of creating an ideal customer experience means investing in your employees. Treat your employees well and cultivate a culture that works well with the brand. Happy employees tend to present the best possible image to potential customers.
Train your employees to exceed customer expectations at every turn. This often means under-promising what they can do for the customer, then over-delivering. It means personalizing communications from the company to the person, even in a mass email. Make sure the content is relevant by segmenting email lists.
Make sure the content you develop for your website and blog is relevant and valuable to those who have already purchased from you. While much of your content will be more oriented toward potential customers you’re looking to land, you should also have some content geared toward existing customers. This content might suggest ways for them to get the most out of the products or services they’re using, offer continued education, or provide other useful information existing customers might find interesting.
In the same way, you should also be paying attention to your existing customers when it comes to promotions and deals. Too many companies focus on special sales and discounts for first time customers. This can leave existing customers feeling annoyed, overlooked, and put off. Make sure you run deals regularly for loyal customers, too, such as milestone discounts and points promotions. Such deals will help to m ake your customers feel valued.
Your existing customers can be a fantastic resource for building your business. These are the people who have already trusted you enough to do business with you, so show them how much they matter. Demonstrate you care about your customers through outstanding service, valuable content, and relevant promotions. You’ll keep more customers around, build loyalty, and see a rapid impact on your bottom line.