Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Customers for life

In this feature on the business of small business , I will be offering views on everyday topics that can make a difference in your business. If you want me to cover anything specific, leave a comment here.

Following the statistics on customer service, here are some thoughts on the value of keeping your customers for a lifetime.

Through out my many workshops and seminars conducted world wide at universities, small business fairs and exhibitions, book launches, business breakfasts and networking events etc, one of the issues I'm always impressing on the audience is this one. Take note of this message today and your business will thrive.

There's an old truth that one customer, well satisfied, is worth a fortune. Over and over again, I work with companies who are determined to improve their advertising to attract new customers. They spend fortunes looking for better copy, the write spokesperson or the right "media mix." All the while, current customers are evaporating or (worse) doing business with their competitors.

Imagine for a moment a brand or supplier from whom you or your family buy on a regular basis. Once you are happy with a product you are likely to return to this shop or supplier for many years, in fact in some cases both you and your family will return for a lifetime. What is the revenue generated by this supplier by simply keeping you as a client for the next 20 years? Lets also not forget about the friends and family you will be referring to the supplier for the next 20 years.

It is always easier and more profitable to keep a customer than to attract a new one. Advertising is expensive! Negotiating the first sale, learning the needs of the customer and serving them well is difficult. To grow your business, focus on repeat sales.

Your customers are your best source of new ideas and innovations to put you ahead of the crowd. Listen to them, honor them, go the extra mile and work with your customers to achieve what you both want: a satisfying and profitable long-term relationship.


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