Why waste time on a past customer?
Businesses work hard and spend considerable dollars getting new customers, and yet few work hard to keep them. Out of sight out of mind? What if past customers were an untapped sales-force?
Salespeople spend time building relationships to get the sale and then forget the customer. They have good intentions during the sale, then what happens?
Do they think they should only contact the customer when they need to sell them? I would hate to think they don’t care since past customers are the most valuable sales machine a company has.
Here’s how past customers can work for you:
- Past customers can do free advertising for you and help you get new business. If you don’t’ stay in touch with them they won’t remember who you are. They also won’t know what to say if you don’t stay in touch. You must continually remind them that you’re worth remembering. It doesn’t mean you have to hound them with more product, you just need to stay in touch.
- Customers will build your brand. Think of all the other businesses they purchase from and all the advertising they are subject to. If they remember you, it’s likely they will tell a friend why they should buy from you. The better your press the more likely you will get referrals. The value of your brand will be increased..
- Past customers can drive new customers. If they already know and trust you why wouldn’t you want them out telling everyone they know? This is ‘word of mouth’ marketing. In order for a customer to use their ‘word of mouth’ they need to know what to say. This is why sending email messages to your past customer’s works.
- If you show your gratitude, you will stand out from the rest. Why not take 20 or 30 of your past customers and send them a message telling them how much you value their business. When was the last time you get a message from a sales person? Salespeople are often told to send thank you notes after the sale and that’s the last time the customer hears from them.
- Treat your customers as valued friends. Unless you breach your friendship, it will be a long term relationship. If your customers feel valued, they will always want to help out.
Staying in touch doesn’t mean you’re pushy. Notes to your customers should be helpful and friendly. If you stay in touch, when the customer needs something she will call you.
Past customers matter. Make the most out of that relationship today!