You and I both know that customers are the livelihood of our businesses. Without them, our businesses would be belly up. The intrinsic value we repeatedly bring to customers cannot be understated.
In fact, securing relationships with customers over their lifetime (LCV) is so important, yet vastly overlooked by the majority of most corporations… the profit that’s left on the table is astounding.
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Don’t believe me? Calculate the lifetime value of a customer for yourself. Once you see the potential profit from one customer… take that number and multiply by the number of customers you already have.
Repeat customers are the quickest, safest way to acquire those kinds of figures. Here are several ways to make sure people do business with you again and again.
1. Sweat Over The Small Details
Every now and then I get emails from various small businesses wishing me a happy birthday. They found out my birthday because I filled out a survey on their site. What they don’t know is I didn’t use my real birthday. (That’s just creepy. Similar to “Fill out your address” boxes on opt-in forms and apps. Where I live is none of your business, thank you very much.) Even so, the fact they send me wishes on my “birthday” shows they’re going the extra mile. Consider a similar route with buying customers.
Additionally, if you happen to have their email – send them emails about matters they’ll be interested in. Since they bought from you, the chances are great that they’re excited about the industry. Sending them relevant information keeps them in the loop and adds on to the strong relationship. (The key to this is to send them information without selling to them.)
2. Stop Selling Yourself
Customers that already bought from you are sold on you. There’s no need to hard sell them on your products and service anymore. The hard part is over: You’ve successfully convinced them (“sold them”) on why your product/service should be in their life. Now, all that’s left for you to do is continue serving their every need and “bending over backward” to fulfill their expectations of your business.
The fatal flaw I’ve noticed with many companies is their inability to stop selling to paying customers. This is different from having an upsell: an upsell is a mere extra purchase in the sales funnel – which is easy, considering the customer is already hooked.
Companies that have amnesia and treat paying customers as if they never bought in the first place were quickly rewarded with lost sales and effectively decreased their profit. If this was the end goal, they succeeded.
3. Use Email To Send Personalized Offers
When you’re on Amazon, you’re often given other options of products to buy. These “recommended buys” or items “that other customers have ordered” are based on what you’ve put in your cart. You can apply the same beneficial tactic through email and see an increase in response you never have before. If you don’t believe me, test it out for yourself. As I’m sure you’re probably aware by now, there is no reason NOT to A/B test.
4. Put Your Loyal Customers First
While new customers and clients are great, don’t forget about customers who already bought for you. Treating people like they are dogs put out to pasture just because they’re “old” is harmful to your business. The lifetime value of a customer (LCV) cannot be ignored – as profits dramatically increase over the duration of your relationships with long-time customers.
This is why hosting promotions and special-access discounts is paramount towards creating loyal customers. For example: if you’re coming out with a new product, or an upgrade, consider offering a limited-time exclusive access to loyal customers, before releasing it to the public.
If you’re a service provider, why not offer a seasonal slash in prices for established clients? I’ve never met anybody who refuses the sweet perks and bells and whistles of seasonal extravaganzas.
Once new customers get the wind that they’ll be able to reap those bells and whistles after becoming a loyal customer – they’ll either a) feel cheated and flee – which is good for you, as they’re probably not your ideal customer anyway, or b) want to become a loyal customer to receive those exclusive benefits. It’s a win-win situation, plain and simple.
5. Interact With Your Customers On A Friendly Basis
Even though you’re a producer, you buy from other companies too. (Look at the products you buy on a day-to-day basis.) How often have you received personal notes from the heads of those companies? Often or not at all?
If you have received personal thank-you notes or correspondence, how did you feel? Were you more inclined to do business with them, seeing as how they genuinely care about you? I’ll bet eight to five that most people feel the same way.
The personal approach is falling by the waysides in today’s consumer AND business markets. It seems like the only thing (most) producers care about is fattening their pockets, forsaking the reason why their pockets are fattening: consumers.
To keep those pockets lined, for possibly years to come, reach out to people who paid good money for your products/service and show a little humanity. Get to know them on a personal level – interact with your customers. Listen to them as they talk about their lives (knowing full well you’ll be able to glean juicy openings about what they like and being able to sell more to them, based on what they tell you).
6. Remind Them About Your Customer Service Policy
Remind your customers what your customer service policy is. As consumers, we have a lot to remember on a daily basis. Sometimes, our memories aren’t so sharp and we forget a lot.
This is why reminding customers about you service policy – and how you fully live up to the policy and execute it, is crucial.
7. Social Media
There’s no denying the power of social media and the benefits of social proof. Seeing hundreds (to hundreds of thousands) of people support an idea, person or thing reinforces the “attractiveness”. Companies do this all the time on their websites by displaying glowing testimonials from satisfied customers.
This is based on a time-tested psychological factor called “the herd mentality.” The people who see that your business is booming will get excited enough to buy from you. Keep up the good work and eventually, you’ll increase the number of repeat customers!
Many social influencers display social widgets on their sites. You see these all the time: little icons (from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) with the number of times people shared that company on their own profile.
If you have a slew of positive feedback on (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)… showcase it! Give your clients/customers a public forum to express their thoughts about you.
At the end of the day, our customers aren’t statistics or numbers. Our businesses stay afloat because we treat our clients and customers like people. In a world saturated with money-hungry businesses, treating people like people seems revolutionary. Evaluate LCVs again and let the numbers speak for themselves.