I Want More Customers, I Want More Customers, I Want More Customers!
July 10, 2017
Regardless of the business sector – retail, service, or manufacturing – all businesses strive to get new customers. Obviously, this is a necessary factor enabling small businesses to achieve long-term, sustainable growth. New customers must be added to existing customers to expand a business' customer base.
A problem exists, however, when a business concentrates a majority of its efforts on securing new customers, only to forget about the loyal customers who helped build the business to its present state. Although new customers and clients are a goal for all businesses, owners and managers must be cognizant of the fact that it is far less costly and time consuming to retain loyal customers than constantly marketing for new ones. Sustainable growth is not the result of prospects in and customers out. Sustainable growth is the result of prospects being turned into current customers who eventually become loyal customers. Compound growth grows a business.
Prospects Into Customers
So, what does it take to attract prospects, turn those prospects into customers, and then retain them for the long-term? Sure, it takes the right type of planning, strategy, marketing, quality products or services, etc., but it also takes one more very important element – customer service! One of the best ways for a business to turn current customers into their competitors' customers is to forget the value of after-sale customer service. Nothing "turns off" a customer faster than being treated one way as a prospect and another way as a customer. In other words, the prospect is promised the moon before a sale – any type of sale – only to be forgotten about after the sale.
Customer service is a key element in successful businesses. The same level of service and concern should be given to customers and clients after they've spent their money with a business than simply only during the "talking stage." This doesn't matter if it's a small, point-of-purchase sale or a negotiated, large contract. Depending on the type of purchase, customers have expectations of a certain level of after-sale customer service. This can range from the simple clearing of a table in restaurant after a meal to on-site instruction to learn the intricacies of a new piece of equipment.
Retaining Current Customers
Never understand the importance of retaining current customers. Without them, long-term growth is difficult if not impossible to achieve. Follow-up, attention to detail, customer service – three important elements of success that many small businesses miss!
Association of Accredited Small Business Consultants