I have a question for you: Do you spend a lot of time and energy courting prospective new customers, hoping to pump up your bottom line? If so, you're probably missing an untapped source of sales that exists right inside your company -- there's truth in the statement that your customer list is your most valuable asset.
There's a gold mine of opportunities to make easier sales and create a loyal following of customers that will return time and again by using your existing customer base to grow your sales. But when I ask small business owners what action they are taking to keep in touch with current customers, the answer is normally "we don't."
How do you turn a pile of dusty invoices and sales receipts into profit generators for your business? How can you create loyal customers who will return time and again to increase your small business bottom line? There are three keys to creating customer loyalty.
a) Know Who They Are
Do you compile and maintain a list of your customers. Track their habits. Monitor your list so you know when they are doing business with you differently. Then ask why. My advice is to use a CRM software application for this taks.
b) Know What They're Worth
I overheard a remark the other day. It was, "Oh, that lady. I barely pay attention to her. She comes in twice a week, but only spends about five dollars. What a waste of my time." Have you had the same thought about any of your customers? Before you dismiss the customer that only spends five dollars, take a look at her long-term value. How often does she purchase over time? How many people does she refer to you that have the same spending habits? A $5 customer can really be worth over $50,000 in the long term and should be treated like a queen.
c). Take Action
Your customers are busy people. They need to be reminded that you exist and how you can eliminate their pain (wants or needs). Have you ever received mail from a company and decided to save it so you could "check them out later?" Then you find that piece of mail in your "to do" stack months later and realize you never contacted them. Your customers do that too. You have to remind them. Often.
Customer loyalty is not rocket science. But it does take consistent effort. Over 90% of small business owners are letting money walk out the door of their business each and every day. Are you one of them?