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 provides inexpensive but clever and unique cards for many industries and allow numerous options to best suit the needs of each customer.

Marketing in a down economy

I was talking with a friend, a very bright business owner.  He’d mentioned that business was slow this year so he was cutting back on advertising. He said he certainly had to cut out Holiday Greeting Cards this year. 


I’m telling you, this guy is one of the smartest guys I know.  I was stunned.  When I finally picked my jaw up from the ground we sat down and talked.


Slow times are the most important times to remind customers that they matter to you.  The fact that they haven’t done business with you in some time could result from a number of factors.


·         Haven’t needed your services

·         Don’t feel they have money for your services

·         Too busy to concern themselves with your services

·         Found someone else offering the same services


No matter what, getting your name, your face, your company in front of them is the key to keeping them as your customer.  The holidays make this easy.  This can be a simple card that lets them know they are important to you.  Don’t misread me here though, this is more than a greeting card.  It is a marketing tool.  To have the opportunity to connect with clients and then not ensure they see your wishes and recognize your business in the process is a WASTED opportunity.

·         Have your company name imprinted on the inside of your cards and then sign your cards personally

·         If possible, write a small note on the inside of the card, personal to that client, start with their name

·         And of course, order cards that help you stand out from the numerous other well wishers


Industry Specific Holiday Cards are a perfect way to do this.  If you’re an electrician and you send out an electrician themed Christmas card your card gets noticed.  A clever card that portrays your industry in a positive way is an advertisement on its own. It creates a buzz and encourages others to see who sent it. Adding your logo or name to the ouside of your greeting card is also a great benefit to your company.


Plus, a holiday greeting card is one of the oldest American Traditions.  Sharing this cultural icon with customers brings the relationship to a more personal level and bonds giver and receiver in a way no other printed piece can match. This personal relationship, with continued effort on your part, tends to evolve into customer loyalty.


Bringing loyalty to your customer base is the way to keep your business afloat in these trying times. 

·         Loyal customers rarely leave over a small change in price.

·         Loyal customers are more inclined to pay you on time.

·         Loyal customers talk about your company favorably with others.


Oh, and back to my friend, he recognized the errors of his misguided greeting card concepts. He decided to order cards after all. Hopefully you’ll do the same.