KEEPING A LOYAL CLIENT
What is the secret number of “touches” a client should receive to remain loyal?
No matter what your product or service is, communications with your good customers/clients is an essential part of a comprehensive marketing program. We now have an advantage… technology has made it less time consuming for part of the process, and an internal time management system will save time for the rest of the process.
The “touches” can be broken down as follows:
- 12 monthly newsletters: by adding the e-mail address of your clients to a system ( as you get them) such as “constant contact” and by formatting the newsletter so that it has your name, logo and tag line in the same spot each month, you have already streamlined your process. I keep a folder on my desk and clip articles from magazines, newspapers, or jot down things of interest and then each month I allocate a few hours to putting a value based newsletter together. Make sure you send it out the same day each month.
- Birthday card: when asking for the e-mail address of a client also ask for the day and month of birth. Several hours a month will allow you to address all the cards and have them ready to mail a week before the actual birthday. Plan to write cards up to 12 months in advance and have them filed for mailing. I use snail mail as I find that a more effective “touch” vehicle.
- Another special occasion card: pick another occasion during the year such as an anniversary, thanksgiving, etc and follow the same procedure as above.
- 4 quarterly calls per year. Again, having a system in place is the secret to this process. Group your calls so you can spend an hour ( more if needed) to contact your clients.
- Have two personal “touches” each year. This can be coffee, lunch, or …… The important thing to remember is to make those two “touches” every year. You can discuss current business trends or review a client’s needs for products or services.
- Invite your customer/prospect to two meetings a year: We all go to meetings, be they civic organizations, educational seminars, or social function. Make good use of your time by inviting a customer with you.
By my figures the count comes up to 22 “touches” a year. By developing systems and procedures in your business life, this part of your marketing program can be put on “automatic pilot”. It does require a plan and then accountability to the plan. Systems become automatic once you have had them in place and use them for at least three months.
Another challenge: Set up a system to implement this process in the next 10 days.
Procrastination will rob you of your time; lack of action will rob you of your hope for success.
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