In case you haven’t noticed, your existing base of customers is under attack. Every week other solutions providers pitch their marketing campaigns to your customers. Not to mention being bombarded by SEO, phone campaigns, email initiatives, invitations to networking events, and traditional cold calling. As a result, you are in a battle for “mindshare.” In today’s market, maintaining top-of-mind status with existing customers is no longer a luxury you can afford to live without. It’s a requirement.
Are you calling your customers?
In talking with my colleagues in our industry about where they put most of their energies, I’ve discovered that the majority focus on finding new prospects and customers, with little to no focus on existing ones. We tend to take them for granted. After we initially sell them and install our solution, we usually leave them alone to fend for themselves. For the most part, we hear from existing customers when they have a problem and/or when their system is broken; they hear from us when they owe us money.
Do you have a touch-point system for your existing customers?
If this doesn’t sound familiar, then congratulations, you have established your company as a trusted resource to your existing customers! You are in contact with them on a regular basis, educating them on how to leverage technology, sharing success stories, providing technical tips, and keeping them up-to-date on important trends in their industry (not just in yours).
But if this does sound familiar, then when was the last time you marketed to your existing base? And how frequently do you maintain a touch point with each of them?
Marketing to existing customers is not a new idea, but it does require effort and consistency. The value proposition can be high because existing customers are a great source of additional business and referrals—but only if you’re connecting with them on a regular basis. Consider the cost of losing a customer because you haven’t stayed in touch, took them for granted, and/or enabled a competitor to knock on their door because you were too focused on finding the next new customer.
Communicating doesn’t have to be difficult
Most of us don’t have the time, staff, budget, or marketing expertise to continually stay in touch with our existing base of customers. However, there are simple, low-cost strategies, techniques, tools, and consultants to help you. A few initiatives worth considering are email marketing, branded e-newsletters, basic social media, surveys, and webinars.
Find ways to make your existing customers feel they’re important, part of a club, a priority. Give them something for free: your insights and knowledge. Do it regularly. And above all: keep giving them the love you promised them on Day One.
Alan Hayman is president and founder of The Hayman Consulting Group. His career includes 20+ years as a technology executive, entrepreneur, and consultant. He was co-founder of XCO Software LLC, executive vice president of MICROS Systems, Inc., and president and chairman of MICROS of South Florida, Inc.