By: Alan Hayman, President at Hayman Consulting Group
In case you haven’t noticed, your existing base of customers is under attack. New solutions providers are contacting your existing customers every week with extensive marketing campaigns of all types. Your existing customers are getting bombarded through SEO on the web, phone campaigns, email initiatives, networking events, and traditional cold calling. You are now in a battle for “mindshare”. Maintaining top-of-mind status with our existing customers is no longer a luxury can afford to live without. It is requirement in today’s market.
When I talk to most of my colleagues in our industry, their focus on finding new prospects and customers with little to no focus on the existing ones. We tend to take them for granted. After we initially sell them and install our solution, for the most part, we leave them alone to fend for themselves. We hear from existing customers when they have a problem and or their system is broken. They hear from us when they owe us money.
If this doesn’t sound familiar, then congratulations you have established your company as “trusted resource” to your existing customers. You are in contact with them on a regular basis, you are educating them on how to leverage technology, you are sharing success stories, you are providing technical tips, and keeping them up to date on important trends in their industry (not just yours). When was the last time you actually marketed to your existing base and how regularly to maintain a touchpoint with each one of them?
Marketing to existing customers is not new idea but does require effort and consistency. The value proposition can be high because existing customers are great source of additional business and referrals but only if you are connecting with them on a regular basis. Another consideration is the cost of losing a customer because we have not stayed in touch, simply took them for granted, or we allowed a competitor to knock on their door because we were too focused on finding the next new customer.
Most of us don’t have the time, staff, budget, or marketing expertise to continuously stay in touch with our existing base of customers. This can be a huge miscalculation. There are simple low-cost strategies, techniques, tools and companies to help you. Without a doubt, email marketing, branded e-newsletters, basic social media, surveys, and webinars are just a few initiatives worth considering. Make your customers feel they are important, part of a club, a priority, and give them something for free….your insights and knowledge. Do it regularly. Keeping giving them the “love” you promised them on Day One. If you don’t, someone else will.