Existing and repeat customers are a gold mine for any business. If a business has a lower churn rate then it is able to retain a good portion of its existing customers. This way, when the business adds new customers, the growth rate increases by a lot, as the existing customers are already retained.
This is however only the financial side of the business. Existing customers helps a business in many other ways, for example spreading the business by word of mouth and becoming a loyal ambassador of the company. Surely, the benefits are plenty, but much of these benefits have to be gained as everything depends on how you handle your current customers.
Here, we will cover several ways in which a business can make the most out of their existing customers.
1. Offer Customer only Products: Launch certain products for customers and introduce them in the existing pricing plans. The already subscribed paid customers will get this add-on for free as their existing plan did not have this new feature and product upgrade.
Lock certain features of this new upgrade for old clients and mention that one needs to be a year old customer to access this new feature.
2. Start a loyalty credit system: Let users earn some credits on every purchase they make. This way, the existing customers will earn and accumulate credits that they can use to redeem in some way and get free or discounted products and services.
This will encourage the existing customers to make some extra purchases in order to gain more credits. In a way, the customer is already paying to gain these credits but they will still think this whole process as getting a freebie and thank the business for their generosity.
3. Customer Feedback: It is important to listen to your customers. Anyone who is paying to get something can move to a competitor if they are better in some ways or your own system is difficult to work out. The customers are always ready to tell you what problems they are facing with your system, but you still need a setup to learn more about their issues. The best option is to set up a survey system where the customers can give their feedback and help you solve their issues quickly.
4. Up sale: If your customers have bought certain things from you then it is likely that they might buy some more stuff. Look for what else their business might require and if it is something that you provide then it is time to pitch them a relevant up sell opportunity.
Every business has more than one aspect and if you are able to sell something then it is quite possible to look into what else they might be looking for there lays your opportunity to sell more. For example a business might need web hosting, logos and designs, pay per click promotions, social media marketing, content writing and marketing. If you are able to provide any one of these services then it is likely that you should be able to provide the rest of the services too as most of these services are related to one another.
5. Stay Connected: Keep the customer in the loop. Even if it has been only a few days after the sale and you haven’t talked to the customer much, it might be too late before you start a conversation.
The moment you close a sale, it is important to keep an ongoing conversation with your customer so that you can do exactly what the service requires. Even keeping a few days of radio silence might break the customer relation that you should look to nurture.
6. Create a referral system: Most loyal customers refer a business anyway but to take this one notch up, you have to setup a referral system where your existing customers can promote your business and your products and earn a part of the income that is generated by a new client.
7. Build Testimonials: Asking for a testimonial is easy if you have some satisfied customers. Now that you have received your testimonial, it is time to display it on your homepage and your blog sidebars. Let people see that others are recommending you. Testimonials, especially from popular market leaders help a lot. Your customers recognize these celebrities and then read the testimonials and become further loyal to your business.
Along with testimonials, ask for ratings where ever possible. If you have an app then ask for Google play ratings etc. There are endless places where your customers can recommend you and give you nice 5 star ratings. This is the biggest power of having existing customers; they are able to promote a business faster than what one can accomplish by spending money.
8. Train your staff: Most good businesses with strong and growing paid membership base are spoiled by unhelpful staff. Make sure to train your staff so that they can handle your customer requirements, the way you used to handle it yourself. Sometimes, try to be a client yourself, or ask your friends and family members to pretend to be a customer and see how your staff deals with these clients. If there is something wrong with your staff, you will be able to find out that way.
9. Encourage social media content: Good customers who are happy with your service and products will often talk about your business on the social media. This is your opportunity to high light these stories and make them visible on the social media. Spread them, share them, run some PPC campaigns on them, promote them on your official pages and accounts – these success stories are your biggest digital assets and if you are able to make good use of it, your business will spread like wild fire and no competitor can do anything to block your progress.
New customers have a cost on them; it is the money that is spent to acquire them. On the other hand, existing customers don’t cost to acquire, they just need to be retained so that they provide you with continued business. One should do all that they can to retain the existing customers for creating long term successful businesses.