Nurture Customers: Increase Sales
September 19, 2019
Business owners are constantly striving to increase sales. They market, run promotions, and try to obtain new customers. In fact, often if you asked business owners how they are attempting to grow their businesses, they would probably say, “I’m always trying to get new customers.” Of course, this is certainly one way to grow a business.
Don’t Forget About Loyal Customers
In the quest to obtain new customers, it can be easy to forget who helped build the business in the first place...loyal customers. Without loyal customers buying from a business again and again, the business is almost destined to remain stagnant rather than experience steady, upward growth. While a business must always be trying to acquire new customers, it cannot forget about its current customers.
Nurture for More Sales
There is no question that keeping a current customer is less costly and takes less effort than marketing for a new customer. Understanding this concept allows business owners to concentrate on not only keeping current customers but extracting more revenue from the same customers. Rather than always being on “the hunt” for new customers, business owners should ask themselves, “How do we increase sales from our current customers?” Do Apple and Amazon only hope for one sale from one customer, or do they anticipate making multiple sales over a long period of time? Of course, everyone knows the answer to that question.
Know Your Customer
Before a business can increase sales from a customer, it must know what the customer wants. If it’s not a returning customer, think of the valuable information in knowing why the customer made only one purchase (or even multiple purchases) but is not returning. This is vital information for business to consumer sales or business to business sales.
A simple two-question email survey (can be either anonymous or not) produces a treasure trove of information, which if used correctly can lead to increased sales and returning customers.
• On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest), how likely is it that you would recommend our products or services to a friend or business associate?
• What do you like least or best about our products and services and any recommendations?
A business owner can assume that individuals giving the business a high ranking on the first question are probably loyal customers and will repeat their buying experience in the future. Taking information from the second question allows a business to better satisfy the needs and desires of those loyal customers. This information also allows a business to diversify and/or expand its line of products and services to existing customers creating an opportunity to increase sales from the same customer base without much additional effort and/or marketing dollars.
The Dissatisfied Customer
The same two-question survey allows a business owner to equally understand why certain customers are not pleased with the business’ products and services and, likely, will not repeat their buying experience. Those giving a lower rating to the business (not likely to make a recommendation to others) also provides valuable information to the business owner as to why the customer was dissatisfied with their experience in dealing with the business. Valuable information, indeed, so the business can improve its products, services, sales assistance, customer support, return policy, etc. The hope is that a dissatisfied customer might be salvaged to purchase again or, at least, whatever went “wrong” with the sale that caused the customer to be dissatisfied will not be repeated on another customer.
Improve Relationships, Improve Sales
Use current customers to improve sales. Understand what they want and understand why some customers became dissatisfied. Nurture good relationships, try to repair broken relationships, cross-sell, upsell, and expand product and service lines. The result: more revenue and increased profits.