Are Forgotten Customers A Problem For Your Business?
I’ve had many conversations with owner-managers the last few months, and they’ve all pointed to the same business problem: Poor or non-existent growth from existing, or rather, forgotten customers!
But is this surprising? Not really. Why not? Well, businesses typically lose between 10-25 per cent of their influence over customers for every month customers don’t hear from them.
The takeaway is simple: It’s a crowded marketplace, and you’re soon forgotten if you remain silent.
It costs 5 times more to acquire new customers than it does to keep existing consumers. Hence forgotten customers are one of the most expensive and wasteful problems for businesses that are failing to grow, because you’ve already spent so much valuable time, effort and money acquiring them.
Reading this you may think that it’s normal to lose customers, and granted, it’s normal to lose a a small percentage through attrition in the market, but how many customers are lost through silence? Many more, I assure you.
So what can you do to re-engage forgotten customers? Well, find ways to stay in touch with your customers and prospects at least once a month. But not with sales pitches. Instead, send them useful content, preferably by email. Think of this as helping them, rather than selling, and find a systematic way to keep the connection going.
Here are some suggestions for staying in touch with forgotten customers:
- Plan a 12-month editorial calendar of targeted themed content that you can draw on throughout the year, for each audience segment
- Give your customers early access to your best content, especially research and thought leadership pieces
- Follow your customers on social, add them to a list, engage with their content first, share and comment with advice and tips
- Feature your customers in your updates and mention them by name in the comments
- Create a customer-only Facebook or LinkedIn group that you moderate with clear guidelines
- Invite customers to an event that you think they’d find helpful or entertaining
- Encourage them to sign up to a specific series of emails on a given topic
- Target with re-marketing where appropriate, but don’t sell, point them to useful content with a CTA
- Put friendly messages on invoices and login screens (even if it’s to wish them a happy summer holiday)
- Let them know about other services or products that you’ve launched or improved that they would genuinely find relevant
- Leave a testimonial on their social media outposts: Google My Business Page, LinkedIn about how you felt working with them
- Ask them for a testimonial or review about how they felt working with you
- Buy something from them
- Refer someone to them and let them know that you’ve done it
- Send them a card (In France we sent New Yard cards, as apposed to Christmas, which in the UK helps stand above the mainstream!
By adopting some of these simple tactics you can easily and painlessly support the sales function to stretch beyond the traditional top of funnel marketing activities, and offer an end-to-end marketing support process that includes existing customers, and generating repeat business from them.
Are forgotten customers a problem for you? What are you doing about it?
Main image: Tom Fishburne, marketoonist.com
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