If you’re committed to making 2015 a great year, here is a simple process you can follow:
Increase customer retention.
The number one reason a customer stops doing business with any business is because they feel that the business doesn’t care about them. But the reality is; businesses don’t care about people. People care about people. When a customer says that a business doesn’t care about them, they are really saying that the owner and employees don’t care about them. By working to build relationships with customers (thereby showing them that you do care) you will increase your customer retention rates. And even a small increase in customer retention rates can translate into massive profits. Jeff Bezos recently said that one of the reasons Amazon has been so successful is because they are willing to spend more money to acquire new customers than any of their competitors are. But one reason Bezos can afford to spend more is because Amazon’s retention rate is so high.
Keep an Eye on Your Competitors.
I am not suggesting that you keep an eye on your competitors in order to copy them. With rare exception, it is far smarter to watch what your competitors are doing and do the opposite. I know this idea might seem a little basic, but I have made a lot of money over many years by looking at various industries and finding ways to offer something other than the norm. When I owned a dry cleaning company, we offered FREE pick-up and NEXT day delivery; both of which, at the time, were unheard of in the industry. At The Newsletter Pro, we create custom newsletters–while almost everyone else in my industry sells template newsletters. The same goes for marketing, if everyone in your industry advertises in ABC Monthly, well, you should at least start with an ad in ABC Monthly, but when you realize that no one in your industry uses direct mail (or almost no one), it would be a good idea to figure out how to make that work as well.
Make a List and Check It Twice.
I always, and I mean always, have a running list of great ideas. These ideas are all ways I can improve on my marketing or the client experience at my company. Every time we wrap a project, I go back to the list and pick another idea. Two major benefits of keeping this list are that you look like a genius month after month when you always magically seem to have a great idea for everyone to work on, and you never forget about a great idea simply because you don’t have the time or the resources to implement the idea that very second.
Collect Data and Use It.
Most businesses do not collect enough data about their customers. It is not uncommon for me to speak with a business owner who has been in the industry for over eight years, but only has a handful of customer addresses. At a minimum, you need the addresses of as many people who buy from you (as well as all prospects) as possible. What about birthdays or wedding anniversaries? Do they have kids? Knowledge is power when it comes to data about your customers, so start collecting more of it!
A question you are duty bound to ask yourself on a regular basis is, “In what other ways can I provide value to my existing customers?” Put another way, “What else can I sell them?” On the surface, this second question may put people off–but it shouldn’t. I am not suggesting you shove garbage down their throats. If you have a product or service that will truly help your clients with a need of theirs, you would be negligent to not offer it to them. For example; if you are a dentist, and you just got done filling a cavity, and you notice that all your patient would need is a few months of Invisalign to fix their crooked teeth (keeping in mind that a straight smile would change their entire appearance, and in turn, their life), aren’t you doing both you and them a disservice by not letting them know about their options and the benefits? Of course you are! Always be considering what’s next.
There you have it, five simple steps you can take to make 2015 AWESOME! If you don’t feel you can accomplish all five of these right out of the gate, I suggest you at least start with step number three; make an idea list and bookmark this blog for reference. Hit the ground running in 2015!