SURPRISE YOUR CUSTOMERS!
Just doing a good job in the delivery of your products or services may not be enough with today’s consumers. Many products and services are constantly changing, adding new features at least once a year. In order to stay competitive smart phones as well as cars are adding new and better technology to keep existing customers buying and to win new ones.
Unfortunately, small business owners don’t always have the option to change their offerings. Financial limitations as well as product/service redesign are more than most small businesses can handle.
There is something that can be done! I believe that customers want to be happily surprised on a regular basis. The old adage, “It’s cheaper to keep a customer than to find a new one,” holds true. What this also tells us is that part of the marketing budget has to be spent on retention. Surprising a current customer does not have to be accomplished by introducing more features in your products or services.
The key to “happily surprising” a customer requires that you first know your customer. By knowing their likes and dislikes, you can create an ongoing “happy surprise” retention campaign. The frequency of the delivery may vary, but I advocate at least once every six months. The cost and type of the surprise will vary depending upon the cost of your product/service.
Let’s look at some possibilities:
♥ Hand written birthday and anniversary cards.
♥ The delivery of a cake to an office for someone’s birthday.
♥ A subscription to a magazine; this offers 12 contacts a year.
♥ A gift card for lunch, coffee or ice cream cone, etc.
♥ A book
♥ A bottle of wine
♥ On a more personal level invite a customer to attend a function with you.
These are a few ideas, but if you stop and think, you can add many, many more items to the list. Change the gift every six months and think of the expenditure as part of the marketing budget. If you figure the cost of obtaining a new customer both in time and money, you will find that a retention program is a great investment.
Tips & Advice by Nick Petra, CFP – Founder of Strategic Duck and BizQuack
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