Business Survival Tip for today’s economy

The $64,000 question… How do I keep my customers?  Right now, more than ever, holding on to the customers we have is priority number one.  Believe the adage, it costs 5X more to gain new customers than hold onto current customers.

 

So what’s the answer? We keep them, in part, by ensuring they know we care about them and their business.  Just like at home we often take those around us for granted and we forget to say please or thank you.  Giving a customer a simple “thanks for continuing to do business with us; we really appreciate it” goes a long way.  

 

Regular communication and building a relationship is key to creating customer loyalty.  We all know it’s true: Out of site, out of mind.  Don’t let your customers forget you or soon they’ll be someone else’s customers.  For many, a quick – but personal – card is a perfect way to stay in touch.  Cards are seen as personal mail – not solicitations.  But don’t be misled – the ability of a greeting card to market you and your organization is enormous.  The cost is small, and whether you mail them or hand them out personally, the receiver is excited to see it.  The mere size makes it clear it is not a bill, not junk mail, but a greeting card.

 

As the holidays approach, don’t fool yourself into thinking that sending cards to your customers, vendors and staff isn’t important.  It is!  A greeting card is a gift.  The exchange of greeting cards is one of the most popular and widely accepted customs in the United States.  Sharing that tradition with customers shows them just how special they are to you.  And again, it is an effective marketing tool for your business. 

 

But of course, all cards are not equal in their marketing effectiveness.  How many pretty wreath cards or winter scenes do you think your customer will receive?  To market effectively you must stand out from the pack. You must give your customer something that will make them take pause, smile and think of you.

 

Don’t miss the opportunity to market your business with an industry specific Christmas card.  A clever card that depicts your industry in a positive way ensures your customer associates that card and the smile on their face with your company. Adding your logo or company name to the front of the card tops the deal. House of Cards, and www.Cardscheaper.com provides inexpensive but clever and unique cards for many industries and allow numerous options to best suit the needs of each customer.

Where do I spend my marketing dollars?

Although this will vary by industry – the overwhelming thought this year is to spend the bulk of your budget on the clients you already have. We know it costs more to get new clients than keep existing ones… some of that is due to the shear cost of searching out and courting these prospects.

Direct mail is helpful and a staple for many industries. However, the decision to limit funds spent in this way and instead focus your marketing dollars on those that have contributed to the success you’ve reached thus far makes a lot of sense.

Marketing to this audience costs less and is more productive.

* You already have their contact information

* They already have experience with your company

Phone calls, notes and greeting cards to current customers show them you think of them. Such actions will also ensure your customers think of you. “Out of Site – Out of Mind” is true. Even those customers who had been happy with your service may not think to call you when they need you again – especially if it has been several months or more since they last did business with you… or last heard from you. And always send industry specific holiday cards at Christmas time. Cardscheaper.com has a huge selection of business or profession specific cards to choose from. You are sure to stand out from the crowd of cards your client receives, which is just as important as the sentiment that is shared.

Happy customers make a great sales force for your company. Ignoring their power has the same impact, but for your competitor.