Tuesday May 16, 2017
Did you know that your best leads and marketing allies are usually your satisfied customers?
When someone has used your product or service and loved it, they've a lot more inclined to work with you again, and to recommend you to their friends, than a stranger to your business would be.
This is especially important in light of the fact that bringing someone from being a total stranger to becoming a loyal repeat customer and advocate of your business can take a lot of work.
You've got to get their attention, hold that attention, earn their trust, show them why your product is relevant enough to their lives that they should check it out, and then help them to see why it's valuable enough to them that it's worth a monetary investment.
Once you've done all of that, and they've made their first purchase, the hardest part is over. Now you have an established relationship with them, which lays the foundation for encouraging them to make additional purchases.
But just because you have the customer doesn't mean you'll be able to keep them.
There are many things that can steal your hard-won customers from you.
Even after you've established a relationship with a client, things can still happen to that relationship.
They could discover a company that offers better service; they could forget their need for your product, and not come back when they need a refill, refresher course or re-subscription; they could think they already have everything they require, and not see the need for your upsell product.
One of the worst mistakes companies make is neglecting their existing clients in favor of chasing new prospects.
They repeatedly start from ground zero, only to lose a lot of their potential return on that investment of time, money and effort because they didn't continue to nurture the relationship to its full potential once they'd established it.
The company I'm working with did WHAT?!
Now that we've talked about companies that needlessly lose clients, let's look at the other end of the spectrum.
Have you ever had a time when you looked at a company you were working with and thought, "Even if somebody offered me a better product, I wouldn't want to switch"?
My current CRM provider and site host, AllProWebTools, inspired this blog post by giving an example of that kind of service. Several examples, actually.
The first one came when I was working on switching my website hosting over to them. I was having trouble getting my blog transferred, my previous host had provided no useful answers, and I was beginning to fear that I'd have to manually re-create every single blog post, one copy-and-paste at a time.
I told AllPro's team about this, and asked if they had any advice. A little while later, I was informed that they hadn't had a preexisting way to transfer my blog, so they'd figured one out, and the blog posts had been transferred.
Cue a few moments of me staring at my email in mute shock, with a little "loading" icon spinning in my head.
I was later to learn that they also have a system for promoting some of their users to other users who might need their services, a virtual networking group that's brought me several great connections, and a blog in which they've been known to promote users with whom they've worked closely - without being asked to.
Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed, and even if I encountered a CRM that had better software, I'd be pretty reluctant to leave these guys behind.
How can you inspire that same loyalty in your customers?
The exact methods you use will vary from one industry to another, but here are some possibilities you can consider:
- Referring leads to those of your clients who you know provide good service, if you serve businesses.
- Having surprise bonuses in your products, like templates, guides, handouts, samples of complementary products, or a bit of extra done-for-you work that they hadn't expected.
- Connecting your clients with each other, if you think they could benefit from the connection.
- Sharing valuable content with them through your blog, newsletter and social channels.
- Mentioning and promoting them in your educational marketing, if the client is a business that serves the same target audience as you in a way that complements your service but doesn't compete.
- Purchasing products or services from them, if they're offering something you need.
- Answering their questions about your products or industry, and giving them advice that helps them get the results they want.
- Giving loyal existing clients discounts on future purchases.
There are many ways to secure your clients' loyalty, and I'm sure you can think of a few.
Have you ever had an experience with a company that blew your socks off and made you want to stay with them?
Do you have a strategy in place for wowing your clients and making them want to stay with you?
I'd love to hear about it in the comments!