There’s a Better Way to Grow Your Business
FACT #1: Getting new customers costs you 6-7 times MORE than serving existing customers
FACT #2: 70% of a customer’s decision to buy is based on how they FEEL about your business
FACT #3: If you improve customer retention by just 5% you will get 25% – 100% MORE PROFIT
Growth is easy with a proven system.
Here are ten effective ways to add profit to your small business with the customers you already have
1) VIP Programs
Not all customers are created equal. In fact, most businesses make 80% of their revenue from just 20% of their customers. To encourage your best customers to come back often and spend like crazy, you need a true VIP system.
Go beyond lame loyalty programs. Focus on delighting those best customers. Find out what they love and deliver it. Nuance Chocolate, an artisanal chocolate shop in Fort Collins, Colorado offers a CHOCOHOLIC LICENSE. Benefits include early-bird notifications, invitations to exclusive events, opportunities to participate in tasting panels, special discounts & deals and more. VIP system are just one sweet way to give great customers more of what they love, while watching revenue roll in.
2) Social Proof
Got credentials? Shout ‘em out! Put your wins front and center. Nothing validates you like other people’s stamp of approval. Expand your definition of “social proof.” A professional certification. Media mentions. Participation in trusted organizations like the Better Business Bureau, Chambers of Commerce or Trade Associations. Social proof screams “trustworthy” without you having to say a word. Bonus: Studies have shown that social proof is an effective strategy for getting folks to listen.
3) Case Studies
When your clients love you, don’t keep it to yourself! Case studies and other testimonials are real-life stories that show exactly how customers or clients have been enhanced by working with you. No matter what kind of work you do, no matter how you make money – prospective customers want to know that other customers have had success with your business. Put case studies on your website. Share them via social media. Share them with your email list. Make a video. When your customers win, so do you.
4) Celebrate Referrals
What happens when a customer refers a new client? Too often, the answer is…nothing. Or maybe you remember to say thanks the next time you see the referrer. Without a consistent system for appreciating referrals, it’s too easy to miss the moment. Forgetting to appreciate a customer who sends business your way is insulting. Worse? It’s bad business. If someone cares about you enough to make an effort to send you a customer, whoop it up! Make it a big deal! Find a way to make it special for the referrer AND the new customer in a way that’s uniquely YOU.
5) Say Thank You
Mom told you to say thank you. When it comes to customers, that’s good advice. “But wait,” you may be thinking, “I’m already overwhelmed! I don’t have time to do some personalized thank you outreach to my customers.” Maybe that’s true, but what’s that position costing you? Your most valuable customers are the loyalists who come back again and again. If you can lower your customer churn by as little as 5% you can increase profitability anywhere from 25% to 100%! Those are big numbers. So say thank you. And please. And, for pete’s sake, get your hair out of your eyes. (Oh, whoops – that last one was a childhood flashback.)
6) Upgrades, Not Discounts
These days email inboxes are constantly flooded with discount offers. 10% off. 25% off. 40% off! They all run together in a mishmash. Not all businesses send discount offers to the masses, but many (if not most) DO use some types of discounting strategies. Instead, focus on finding the upgrades your best customers will find compelling, and offer those instead. Upgrades can be “gifts with purchase” or bonus products and services. (Think cosmetic counters, with their “gift with purchase” and free makeover offers.) What can you offer customers that’s inexpensive for you yet valued by them?
]7) Personalize it
At a restaurant, if a waiter leaves mints along with the check, but says nothing, tips go up by 3%. If a waitress brings mints and points them out. (“Would anyone like some mints before they leave?”), her tips increase by 14%. Better! When waiters/waitresses bring mints along with the check AND also circle back with ANOTHER set of mints – making it obvious they are bringing extras in case the customers want more? Their tips go up by a whopping 23% higher than wait staff who didn’t bring mints at all. The moral of the story? It’s personal. When service is personal and specific about considering the needs of patrons, tips go way up. It’s not the mints that matter – it’s how they were presented.
8) Email That Doesn’t Suck
Almost universally, small business owners say the same thing about sending customer-facing emails: “I don’t want to be another company pestering my customers and cluttering their inbox.”Cool! Don’t send lame email – your customers will thank you. But don’t avoid email, either. You have information your customers will value IF you share it the right way. You have secret sauce. Your customers need the products and services you provide – and there’s information that goes along with those products and services you can share via your emails. Nobody needs more bad email. If you’re going to email, make each one your BEST:
Discover your opportunities for growth – including great emails.
9) Stop Selling
The flip side of making emails your BEST is to focus on solving customers’ problems instead of selling them your stuff. Too often, emails are all salesy, all the time. And sure, you’re sending the email in order to sell stuff…but without cultivating a relationship with customers so that they know, like and trust you they aren’t going to be excited about buying from you. The way to build revenue is to build relationships. And that means focusing on the long haul over the short win. When you stop selling and build the relationship, you create a foundation for a long and profitable future.
10) The MOST Important Customer Retention Tip
When you stand for everything, you stand for nothing. What you need is a clear, easily articulated and understood Purpose for your business. Who you are. Why it matters. How it defines the culture of your company. Your Purpose isn’t some fancy-dancy byproduct of a company boondoggle in the mountains (although, let’s face it, those are fun). A true Purpose is knit into the fabric of everything you do. Your Purpose matters. How it defines customer interaction should be front-and-center across every employee – from unpaid intern to top dog. Build your foundation of true Purpose and you’ll create longterm, highly profitable customers and a healthy, flourishing business.