You probably spend a great deal of your time looking for new customers or clients. However “are you sure your doing enough to hold onto the ones you’ve got?”
One of the least costly ways to grow your business is to get customers to come back and buy more of your product or service.
How many customers have you lost this month? I’m sure it’s not something you want to think about too much, however it’s inevitable that you’ll lose customers and clients for a whole range of reasons many of which are out with your control.
I read a survey some years ago that suggested customers leave a business for four basic reasons: 14% leave because they’re dissatisfied with the quality of the product or service, 9% leave because of price, 5% leave for other reasons and a whacking great 72% leave because of “supplier indifference”.
Too many suppliers give customers the impression that they don’t care about repeat business. I’ve stayed in hotels, dealt with banks and building societies and dealt with suppliers who didn’t seem to care whether I came back or not.
We need to continually let our customers know we care about them. We need to keep in touch, write to them, send them information and occasionally ‘phone them. When they contact us we need to make sure we sound warm and friendly, pleased to hear from them, efficient and maybe even look and sound like we’re fun to do business with. It’s not a lot different from our personal relationships. If we don’t keep telling the people close to us how much we care and keep writing and ‘phoning, then we shouldn’t be too surprised if they leave us one day.
Use logic and emotion to keep your customers. Give them the best products and service and give great value for money. However, always remember, your competitors will be doing much the same thing. The difference will be determined by how you communicate with your customers on an emotional level, either face to face, on the ‘phone, by letter or email.
I bought a new car from a local dealer a few years ago. I’ve never heard from them since. A dealer for the same brand of car fifty miles away writes regularly with details of special offers. They send a regular news letter and the occasional very courteous ‘phone call. I’m going to change my car soon, guess who’ll be getting the sale? hen we are upfront and honest with a customer, in every situation, your reputation will be firmly established. A good business reputation is something that money cant buy and is quite priceless when you think of the ramifications of the alternative.
If your business makes it a habit to always have honesty and integrity in all of their dealings, customers will sit up and take notice. Honesty is devoid in many places today and the idea of “making a quick buck” has taken the place of: “we really don’t have that in stock right now, but if you would like, I can offer a replacement for you”, or how about this: “that sandwich has been sitting in the tray for about an hour, can I make you a fresh one?” That customer will be shocked, probably to the point they might even be speechless.
Give them that honesty and integrity every time and your business will grow by reputation. The more people can trust you personally, and trust that your company will be forthright and honest with them, the more they will continue to patronize your establishment.
Never, ever lie to a customer under any circumstance. If something isn’t so, say so. If it is, then say it is. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to get back to the days where a man’s handshake was as good as his word? That concept is Old fashioned you say? Maybe so, but it still works.
About the Author
Alan Fairweather – “The Motivation Doctor” – is the author of “How to Make Sales When You Don’t Like Selling”.