People ask me all the time how they can bring in new leads and new customers through social media and email marketing. But what about the customers that you already have? Do you know how to keep customers happy, not only so they never leave you, but they become raving fans and refer other people to you?
If you look at the cost of acquiring a new client vs. keeping the existing ones happy, you will want to check out these tips so that you don’t have to spend so much time and money on recruiting new customers.
I recently made the decision to leave a business because I didn’t feel that they cared about my business. They called me later to book another appointment and when I declined, they seemed very confused as to why I wouldn’t want to continue doing business with them.
Let me explain: I have been seeing a new chiropractor for several months. They are pleasant, their reminder system is good, the office is nice and they are mostly on time. So why did I leave? Well, two reasons – the most important one was that I didn’t really feel that the treatment was working. I talked about this with my chiropractor, but he just kept telling me I needed more treatments. I had the same thing every session for four months and there was very little change. He did not try to investigate as to why it might not be working or offer any new methods.
The second reason was that they refused a referral from me. What? That’s right. You heard me. Every business would be ecstatic about a new referral, right? Not these guys. They have a large chalk board in the office and it had a special advertising they were waiving the new client fee for all referrals. I had a friend ask me if I knew a chiro and I told her I would ask about this special. They told me that the special ended the day before and that my friend could get a free protein bar if she decided to come.
I pointed out that there were no dates on the advert, so would one day matter if I referred my friend? Nope. They absolutely wouldn’t do it. Seriously? I am offering them a new customer on a silver platter and they are turning it down? Again they offered the protein bar. What the heck does a protein bar have to do with chiropractic? I’m sure my friend with the sore neck could have cared less about her nutrition at the moment as she was in pain.
Now, I don’t know the statistics on how long clients stay with a chiropractor and the lifetime earnings that client brings in, but it has got to be in the thousands of dollars. This chiropractor spends a lot of money on advertising, is active on social media, produces a nice email newsletter – in short, he goes through the motions of customer acquisition. But he doesn’t understand what it takes to keep the customer happy on the other side.
Here are some of the most important things that I look for in a business to keep me happy as a customer.
Great Customer Service
I cannot emphasize this highly enough. Some people think that once they have the customer, they just have to provide the product or service and that should be enough. In theory, yes. But think about what happens when you go above and beyond? Do you think that customer will return? Do you think they will tell their friends?
Think about some ways that you can do that “little thing” that makes a big difference in your client’s life. Sometimes business owners think that it has to be big, elaborate and expensive. It doesn’t – it only has to be big and make a difference for your client, not you. The act of refusing to honour their advertising because of one day’s expiration was unacceptable to me. The cost to the chiropractor would have been minimal, but the gesture to me would have been huge.
How does your customer communicate with you? What are your response times? Do you feel that the automated phone system is better for your client or is it just better for you? Think about why you are installing things like that – if you are doing it just to make your life more efficient, but don’t consider whether it works for the clients or not, you may be making a big mistake. I overheard someone telling their friend about a company the other day and one of the reasons they said they like doing business with them is because a “real person” answers the phone.
What about your other channels of communication? Many businesses have social media channels now, but they are not monitoring them correctly. What if a clients posts a complaint? What if someone wants to book an appointment to buy your product or service? Have a policy in place to deal with these in a timely manner. If people cannot communicate with you, they will stop doing business with you
Take a Number
When I do business with someone, I want to know that they care about me, that they will listen to me. I don’t want to just be another number. What do you do that makes your client feel special? Be open to feedback, no matter if it isn’t what you want to hear. Try not to be reactive to negative feedback. Instead, take that as critical information that you can use to improve your business.
Make an effort to remember little details about your clients. It’s impressive to me when someone asks me about something I mentioned to them months ago. It shows that they were listening.
What do you provide that no one else does? What is your unique selling proposition? There is a street in Vancouver, B.C. where there is a coffee shop literally on each of the four corners. They have all been there for a long time and from the looks of it, each is thriving. They all sell coffee, but why do people choose one over another?
Just because you have the same type of business as another doesn’t mean that you can’t do little things to make yourself stand out after the sale. To keep those customers coming back time after time, referring their friends and choosing you over other similar businesses, why not ask your customers what they want from you?
Just remember, it’s sometimes the little things that matter.
Sometimes we become so focused on bringing in new business that we forget about the customers that we already have. What are you doing to stand out, not only to attract new business, but become a rockstar in the eyes of your existing customers. Once you have evangelical clients shouting your name from the rooftops, you will not have to work so hard to get new customers ever again.
One of the best ways to get your clients to give you shout-outs is on social media. This will result in great referrals and a steady stream of clients. Contact me if you want to learn how to get your clients to become raving fans