In an interview with marketing guru Dan S. Kennedy, we spent an hour discussing customer referrals and retention strategies for both B2B as well as B2C and discovered that most businesses have campaigns and budgets for finding new customers, but only the most successful companies have campaigns and budgets for retaining their customers.
According to Dan, there are four areas where most businesses are missing the boat when it comes to existing customers:
1. Customer Referrals
This one may seem obvious, but being a great provider of products and services simply hasn’t been good enough to generate more than a handful of referrals since the late 1960’s, early 1970’s. In today’s world, companies have to go above and beyond “being really good” if they want to get massive amounts of customer referrals.
A referral program or incentive is a great way to increase the number of referrals you may get. Creating a takeaway piece that can be easily given to clients and/or adding something similar to a newsletter or website can be a way to give incentive to clients to share their positive experiences with others and hopefully in return, generate more business.
2. The Sharing of Customers
This is often overlooked by nearly 100% of small businesses. Many don’t realize that customers have one or more other providers they use in-between using your services or buying your products. You MUST create a strategy to keep your customers, clients and patients from doing business with other vendors.
A great way to keep your business on the top of your customer’s mind is with a newsletter. Even if all of your customers don’t read the newsletter, the fact that your company’s name is being seen, puts your business on the forefront of their mind. Don’t let your competitors take away your hard earned business!
It’s surprising the amount of work and effort (even pain!) someone will go through to get a new customer, client or patient only to virtually ignore them after they become a customer.
Newsletters are one way to fix the retention problem most businesses have. Communication is essential for customer retention. As we mentioned above, keeping your business at the top of your customer’s mind will help ensure that when they need your service or product, they will choose your business over another.
4. Repeat Business
Most businesses could easily increase their sales tomorrow if their clients or patients simply knew about all the products and services they could provide to them.
Newsletters can help you educate your customers about the products and services that you offer. Monthly specials, featured items and coupons are all great ways to not only educate customers about the products and services your business offers, but can also entice them to purchase.
These points are just a few of the many other additional ideas and strategies you can use to both increase client, patient, and customer referrals and retention that we discussed with Dan Kennedy. If you take steps to implement initiatives that will both keep the current clients you have, and also attract new ones, you will be well on your way to positive results.