Did you know that 80% of future revenue comes from 20% of existing customers? That makes it critical to have recurring businesses to continue to grow your business. But the question is how do you keep a positive relationship with your current customer base to develop that repeated business?
Effective follow-up begins immediately after the sale. This is the call to say "thank you" and find out if they are pleased with your product or service. Beyond this, there are several effective ways to follow up that ensure your business is always in the customer's mind.
1. Make sure your customers know what you are providing for them. You need to let them know all the services or products you are giving them or offering. This can be done in a form of a newsletter to existing customers, or something as simple as a phone call. You're not being boastful when you talk to customers about the work you've done to please them. This gives credibility to your company and proving you are accountable to provide what they need.
2. Write old customers personal, handwritten notes frequently. "Hi how are you John? I was just working at my desk and your name popped into my head! Did you have a great vacation? Long Beach Island is beautiful this time of year! I'm sure you're busy catching up so I'll go ahead and bring over the models to your office to save you a trip." Making your customer or client feel like something more than only business, is a great way to convince them to continue working with you.
3. Keep it personal. Voice mail and email make it easy to communicate, but the personal touch is lost. Don't count these as a legitimate follow-up. If you're having trouble getting through, leave a voice-mail message that you want to talk to the person directly or will stop by their office at their convenience.
4. Remember special occasions. Send cards on their birthday, anniversary, or on a holiday. Gifts work too! You don't have to empty your wallet. Use your creativity to come up with an interesting gift idea that ties into your business, the customer's business or recent purchase.
5. Pass on information. If you read an article or learn something you think would pertain to their interests, share it with them with a, "Thought this would interest you!"
6. Good customer service. If your customer or client asks for a favor or to work with them for payment or another issue, do not treat the situation as if they are causing an disturbance to your productivity. Be cheerful and help as you can. If you are unable to do what they ask, come to a conclusion with them that makes both you and them happy and content to move forward.
7. Consider follow-up calls business development calls. You'll find that if you have a good relationship with your current customers or clients, you will receive referrals giving you more potential business!
With all the benefits that existing customers can bring you, there is no reason not to stay in regular contact with them. Use creativity and you'll find plenty of ideas that can help you develop a lasting relationship!