March 27, 2011

Appreciation Marketing - Is It Only for Potential Customers?


We have all walked through a shopping mall and seen the kiosk for a business signing new customers up for credit with a store or business and giving away something, a discount, a product, or a gift certificate.  That’s great for someone who has never purchased from that business, but what about those of us who have been loyal customers for years?

When you ask that question, they offer to sign you up for another account.  I know someone with multiple accounts at a major department store because of “taking advantage of promotions” like this.  He never uses their credit card after the promotion is finished, but he still has the accounts.

While not addressing what this may do for your credit score, let’s look at how a current customer of the business, who does not want another account, feels about their promotion.  Your loyalty, your continued support for the business, maybe your referrals to the business seem like wasted effort, don’t they?

We have discussed this before.  People do business with those that they know, like, and trust.  People refer others to business that they know, like, and trust.  Referrals flow easily from happy customers who have received quality products or services for their payment and found that the business appreciated them as customers, making it easy to complete current and future transactions.

Why do businesses believe that they can ignore their current customers, instead just trying to attract new customers?  Ignore your customer base and you will never grow your business as it should grow; ignore your customer base and you will constantly have to look for, and woo, new customers.  It costs 10 times as much to attract new customers as to keep the current customers that you have. 

What if you are the business that will never have a repeat customer?  Your widget will never wear out, it will never break, and your customer will never need another one.  How do you know that your customer may never sell or lose whatever the widget is for?  Perhaps they will give another widget to someone as a gift.

Even if they may never buy from you again, who do they know that will need a widget from you?  A satisfied customer is one who will refer others to you as the source of the best widgets money can buy.  In addition to being the best source of widgets, maybe you make the buying experience easy and enjoyable.

A happy customer is an unpaid marketing representative for your business.  A happy customer can reach potential customers for you that you may never knew existed.  A happy customer will tell the real story of how you care for customers, treating them as clients, not numbers.  A happy customer never takes a day off, never quits, and never asks for a raise.

So what do you need to do besides providing a valid product or service for a valid price?  What can you do besides making it easy for the customer to locate you, buy from you, and feel good about the buying experience, and being available for follow up questions from the customer, regarding installation, use, or mistakes on your part?

Those are some of the topics for future discussions.  Maybe we will discuss something that your comments reflect, or call me at 360-314-8691, or email me at Jim@SOC4Now.com.  Some of my best blog postings come from your input.

2 comments:

  1. Most of the businessmen forgot that they need to take care and continue of their personal relations to their old clients. They are busy on looking for new prospects yet they forgot that they can get new prospects from the referral of their old clients. Loyalty is a big deal in business and it should not be taken for granted, old clients should not be taken for granted.

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  2. Great comment @apprecitation marketing! Also great post Jim. I have also seen a need for a customer appreciation program in my niche. So I made my own :)

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