Depending upon your business category, acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer. Knowing this, it only makes sense to do everything you can to maintain a relationship with your current customers, better known as Core Customers.
So, what exactly is a Core Customer? A Core Customer is someone that has done business with you in the past “X-period of time” and has the potential to do business with you again.
The “X-period of time” depends upon the purchase cycle or how often purchases are made within each business category. For example, in the automotive category: A typical person purchases a vehicle every 3-½ years. In the plumbing business, less than 20% of the population uses a plumber every year and 50% of the population only needs a plumber every 4 to 6 years. In the hardware business, it can be 1 time per month or more.
If your current customers have purchased from you within your “purchase cycle” time frame, these people should be considered a “Core Customer”. As a business owner, you want to connect and reconnect with people between purchases until, at minimum, they are out of the “purchase cycle” period.
The other important question is, how often do you need to keep in contact? It can vary to some degree depending upon the buying cycle, but the rule of thumb is 3 to 5 times a year, with a minimum of twice.
The first thing you must do is identify your business’ buying cycle. Then, identify who your current Core Customers are.
If you do not have a list of your customers and their contact info, start to create one. The only info you need is the name, mailing address, email address, date of purchases, and if possible, what they purchased and the transaction amount.
Having this information is useless unless you USE it!
Statistics show that the success rate of selling to a new customer is somewhere between 5-20%. The success rate of selling to a Core Customer is 60-70%.
Keeping your current customers is one key to success, but we must understand that regardless of what you do, you stand to lose 20% of your customers each year due to attrition in one form or another. Therefore, it’s paramount that you continue to attract new customers that turn into Core Customers. Once you’ve created the relationship, do everything you can to stay connected!
8 Tips to Keep Connected with Your Core Customers
1) Welcome Letter. Once a person has become a client or customer, send a letter from the owner, manager, or even from the entire team welcoming them and thanking them for their business.
2) Phone Call. Even better than a letter is a phone call from the owner, manager or a team member.
3) 3 or 6-month follow-up letters, emails, or phone calls.
4) New Product or New Service updates. “We now offer __________” or, “Did you know that besides (what they purchased) we also offer (insert other product or service here)?
5) Customer ONLY Sales Event. You can send out regular sale event info, but even stronger is if you make a special offer for them. The key is to make sure this offer is ONLY for the select group. Make them feel special. An extremely powerful event is when you close the doors to the general public and are only open for your Core Customers. Provide an exclusive ticket to get in!
6) Special Events. Have a special invite to a Local Baseball Game, Movie Night, Pizza Night. This is a great way to connect with your customers and show your appreciation.
7) Incentive or VIP. With continued purchases, they are rewarded with a FREE or discounted offering. Works best where the purchase cycle is short and often.
8) Partner with Other Companies – Referrals. Partner with another reputable business and send an offer on their behalf. They in-turn, do the same for you.
If you would like to learn how stay better connected with your customers, contact us to talk to one of our Marketing Consultants today! At Titan Broadcasting and Digital Group, our success is based on making you successful too.