Jun 02, 2014
One of the best ways to boost client retention is simply to communicate positively by thanking your clients frequently and consistently. And a more formal customer-appreciation program doesn’t have to cost much either. After all, it’s the thought that counts.
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How many times in the past few months have you thanked your customers for doing business with you? If your answer is, “Not many,” then you’re not alone. Many entrepreneurs focus their time and energy on chasing new customers, and sometimes neglect the ones they already have.
Every customer wants to feel valued. Showing appreciation for your existing clients can set you apart from your competition, increase retention and boost your share of wallet. Plus, happy customers are more likely to refer others your way.
Experts agree that it’s five-to-seven times more profitable to retain existing customers as opposed to bringing in new ones.
Think of customer appreciation as a process and a philosophy. Because client appreciation should happen every time you do business with a client, be sure you’re building on a solid foundation of good customer service before undertaking a formal customer-appreciation program.
Then plan a year out and determine when and how you’ll reward customers and how much you want to spend. A good program typically includes making a large annual gesture – say, throwing a party, wine and cheese night or a BBQ – plus smaller gestures throughout the year. Rewards can vary from a simple thank you card after each deal closes to a small gift on clients’ birthdays or mortgage anniversary dates.
If you’re unsure of what customers would consider a worthwhile reward, then just ask them. The most meaningful rewards are consistent with your company’s brand and values. So, since you likely have a local market presence and support community endeavours, host a golf tournament that supports a local charity