We often see the advertisements from businesses offering great deals to new customers. We all want new customers, and we all have offered promotions similar to these. What type of message does this send to our current clients when we automatically exclude them from these deals?
We have seen the representative outside a store in a shopping mall with the table with a promotion that a customer opening a new account gets a free item or a great deal on their first purchase. However this promotion does not apply to current customers. How do current customers feel about this customer service; how do they appreciate the store’s gratitude to them for their loyalty?
We get caught up in the push to gain new customers, and we frequently lose track of our current ones. If we have decided to give away anything to get a new customer, why not do the same for those clients who have shown their loyalty to our business and its products for many years, even decades?
What type of message does this practice show to the public in general? We practically give away the store to get someone who has never shown any devotion to us if they just sign up as a new customer. They usually will drop us like a hot rock as soon as the promotional period ends or their product is depleted, but we can show that we generated “new” revenue.
In the meantime, we must consider that our current clients may be upset by our practice of excluding them from the promotional offering and leave the relationship that we have enjoyed for a long time. They may find someone who will treat them better, they may find someone who may have a better product, or they may decide to live without whatever we have to offer.
But there may be another aspect to the current client becoming upset with us. We will probably lose any referrals from this client. Maybe we didn’t receive many referrals from them in the first place, or we may not even know how they may have sent others to us since we never tracked referrals in the first place. However, now we may face the non-referral problem.
There are two problems many businesses never consider. The first is the former, disgruntled employee. The second is the former, disgruntled client, especially in this day of social media. Former clients have discovered revenge can have an effect on businesses, and they will use every means to vent their feelings about business that they believe have mistreated them.
What do our promotions say about us? Do they just aim to obtain new customers that may leave us after the promotion is over or the product is used up, or do they consider the current, loyal client? Do we ever try promotions which honor these loyal clients and reward their loyalty in place of treating them as just another customer number? Do our promotions qualify as Gratitude Marketing?