Reported by foodem.com, the online wholesale food marketplace-
Consumer spending rose 0.3% in March, although over the past few years, it seems this penny-pinching economy has remained stagnant. Even with the minute rise in spending, consumers are not only holding on to every dollar they’re able to, their spending decisions are more calculated, they use online resources to research products and services before making a purchase, in search of bargains and they are simply cutting back on the purchase of what they deem unnecessary products and services.
For those reasons alone, several companies have suffered from customer loss, not to say the economy itself accounted for the total losses suffered. There are many reasons why customers take their dollars elsewhere or stop spending altogether. For instance, they may take a liking to a new product or service, find a cheaper product or service, or simply find the product or service less useful.
In this case, though, we’re talking about a sluggish economy and how it has caused stagnation in spending, resulting in loss customers. This situation begs two questions: 1) As a business owner, how do I retain existing customers and bring old customers back? 2) What creative tactics can I employ as payback for their loyalty once they return?
To combat question #1, try the steps below:
- Be vigilant! Know you’ve lost customers
How can you attempt to get lost customers back, without even realizing you’ve lost them?
- Seize customer information
Locate and collect the contact information of the lost customers and prioritize them in the order of importance to your bottom line. Then build on that customer relationship.
- Put your handwriting skills to work
Writing letters may be a thing of the past, but it still works. Get personal and send a handwritten letter using regular postal mail. The effort alone will catch one’s attention. Be sure to keep it short and sweet; remind them of the benefits your company offers them, let them know they are missed and you hope they return.
- Test and Retest
Lure old customers back with offers such as discount certificates, a unique gift or % off incentives. Test different offers every so often and see what works for your audience.
Here are a couple helpful tips for #2:
- Implement loyalty programs to encourage loyalty
Loyalty incentives such as punchcards, check-in rewards and referral systems are all easy ways to show your customers that their patronage is important to you and your business.
- Personalized notes and follow ups calls
Take a few moments to send a handwritten “thank you” or “happy birthday” note to show your customers they are valuable and that you’re thinking about them. If notes are not your thing, make a quick phone call instead; inquire about the product or service they just purchased, express how grateful you are to them for purchasing your products or thank them for introducing their friend or family member to your product or service. No matter which option you choose, both display a certain level of interest in that customer and your effort will likely be remembered forever.
If any, how many customers have you lost over the past few years? Which strategies did you implement to win them back?