Seven Tips to Mining Gold within your Customer Base
Written by Prime Strategies Business Advisor Craig McCulloch.
Did you realise that every small business is sitting on a gold nugget that is often neglected by owners?
So many businesses focus and spend enormous amounts of money and energy on trying to increase enquiry and new sales but fail to properly take advantage of the customers that they have captured already. How do you feel when you see companies offering great introductory packages for new customers while you sit there feeling neglected as a current customer, not feeling very special at all? If a competitor came along and offered you something special, would you stay loyal?
Seven Tips ways to maximise the value of your current customers
You need to have an effective way of capturing all the relevant details of your customers and an effective way of managing this data. This is called Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. It’s just an easy way of capturing and managing your customer information. This is GOLD. There are many options available, just google it and read through different reviews and see what suits your business best.
Categorise your Customers
All customers are important, but the reality of business is that all customers should not be treated the same. Within your business, you will have high value customers, medium value customers and low value customers. Some will return higher margins to your business through their purchasing behaviour, while others will return low value and take up a lot of time.
Categorise into A, B’s and C’s. Treat the A customers like Gold, work on strategies to convert B’s to A’s, C’s to B’s and identify the C’s that take up a disproportionate amount of time and effort to the value returned and look to price increase strategies that return balance to the value exchange.
Grow customer value
Most businesses have a number of products or services that are available to customers. Part of categorising your customers is identifying what products and services they currently purchase and identifying the purchasing gaps. Once this is done, you can build strategies and offers to try and get them buying across the range you offer and more of what they usually buy. Understand their purchasing cycles and give special offers on associated or different products/services when they are ready to purchase
Stay in contact with your customers
Use your customer database to stay in touch with your customers. Newsletters, blogs, special offers. Make it personal through Birthday offers or special occasion marketing. Make them feel special and ignore them at your peril. A competitor who shows an ignored customer a little love will often win them over.
Schedule Key Customer contact
Schedule formal contact with your key customers. This may be a lunch or dinner, or morning tea for their staff. It may be a formal review of your performance. This can pre-empt a price increase, result in additional business or provide for innovation in service, product or operations. Most importantly, it will allow you to identify if there are any specific issues in a timely manner and the opportunity to improve the relationship.
Review Customer Spending
The worst you can do is not notice when a customer stops spending with you, or using your service. It is, what I believe, the ultimate insult for a customer’s point of view. It demonstrates that you don’t care about their custom, that they are unimportant to your business and that you are not interested in keeping them.
Scan your customer spending each month and look for trends that may indicate that they are spending with a competitor or dropped off completely. Go into recovery mode immediately and find out what the issue may be. Even if there isn’t an issue, a customer will appreciate that you have noticed a change in behaviour and care enough to contact them.
As for customer referrals
Your biggest fans are your customers who return time after time for your products or services. Why wouldn’t you ask them for a referral? A trusted referral from a happy customer will almost certainly lead to the introduction of a new customer and greater sales.
There is not enough Gold in the World and it’s really expensive to buy. Take care of the Gold that you spent so much time and effort generating in your customer database, and you might just find that you make Diamonds.
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