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2013-10-01 12:00:42 Media Heroes

5 useful tips to retain customers

Alistair Roberts
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Why am I losing customers quicker than I am gaining them? Should I spend more time with existing customers or getting new ones? A question often asked by young businesses that have put all their time into gaining new customers.

So why is there often more love for new customers than existing ones?

When we first meet people we always put our absolute “Best Self” on display, this takes effort and energy, even so, we humans naturally want to impress new people we meet.

Equally, when we are with people we know well we tend to make less effort, the longer and better we know someone the less effort we put into “The Self“ we show to them.

Just imagine a first date; you wear your best threads, don your most expensive aftershave, you are very polite and attentive and put your absolute “Best Self” on display. After a few months, you will know your new partner a bit better, you will still be polite, wear nice clothes and deodorant but the “Self” you display is a slightly down graded version of your first date “Self”. After several years you will wear whatever is handy, say what you're thinking and shower only if you can be bothered! This is your “Default Self”.

We tend to show our “Default Self” to people we are comfortable with; this “Self” would certainly have little success in a first date scenario!

Many businesses reflect this natural behaviour, doing a great job of wowing potential & new customers, providing a professional and warm welcome when a new customer comes on board, enthusing at the idea of working.

However after a while things relax and there is a tendency to become at ease with the customer, taking longer and longer to call back and reacting to issues more and more slowly, in some cases communication might cease altogether!  Does this sound familiar? If the answer is yes, read on.

Why should there be more love to existing customers?

An existing customer is your most important asset. Particularly for regular service provision type industries such as ours, as these customers already love you and already pay you money, unlike a potential customer who has paid you nothing.

Existing customers and repeat business are key to business growth, these customers already believe in your product and already want to do business with you, and it is these customers who will help you grow your business.

So what can be done to make our existing clients feel loved? Here are 5 useful tips:

1. Keep in touch.

Regularly touch base with your existing clients, even if it’s just a coffee and a chat, this way they will know you care.

Many businesses send out Christmas cards, you could be savvier and send anniversary card celebrating twelve months in partnership with you instead – just like you do with your partner, remind them that you really do love them!

2. Recognise existing customers’ value to your business.

Communicate and show existing customers that the relationship works both ways; your customers will respect you for this. Regularly thank them for their support. If your customer is having a wobble make sure they know that you value their feedback and that you will action solutions to their concerns – don’t make them feel like they are being an inconvenience.

3. Always respond to your existing customers first.

Once you are comfortable that your existing clients are happy you are in a strong position to go and get some new ones. Never ignore and take an existing customer for granted or assume they will never leave, if you do this it is guaranteed they will surprise you one day and go to your competitors who are showing their “Best Self” to the customer.

4. Put your “Best Self” in front of your existing clients every time.

Whenever you speak to your existing customers it is crucial to be as enthusiastic as you were when you first met, cast your mind back; everything was possible and you were delighted to help them as long as it meant they came on board, you were polite and exact in your language – right?

If this is how you were, if this was your “Best Self”, this is the “Self” you need to show your existing customers as a business every time you communicate forever onwards.

5.  Don’t leave all customer communications to the junior team members.

While it is necessary to delegate tasks as you grow, it is important to remember that inexperienced team members do not have the same finely honed manner as your senior team members.

You would not send a junior team member to win a big new contract would you? So why leave it to a junior member to liaise and retain existing customers?

If you keep these tips in mind you will be well on the way to having happy engaged customers who will continue being your customers through thick and thin. Ignore your existing customers and your competitors will soon hijack them.

Here at Media Heroes, we always show our “Best Self” to our existing customers. For more secrets to retaining customers, get in touch with our heroes today.

Topics: Insights

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