According to some sources, the cost of acquiring a new customer is around 30 times more expensive than the costs of keeping an existing one. This fact, combined with the old adage that 20% of your customers are accountable for 80% of your revenue, means that companies should focus more on offering excellent service to their existing client base.
James Hopkins, founder of QV Marketing – a business that focuses on helping local businesses acquire more customers – understands that once you have worked hard to acquire a customer, it is important not to let go of them.
Existing customers may enjoy using a particular product, but they will love it if a company also shares their valuable expertise or teaches relevant and/or related skills. Focusing on customer retention and aiming to market to existing customers is often referred to as ‘Customer Marketing’ – which this article will look at in more depth.
For further tips on using content as a branding tool, please refer to the embedded PDF.
Customer marketing focuses on campaigns and activities that aim to improve customer retention, brand loyalty, advocacy and participation amongst current clients. A customer marketing professional will inform, educate and assist customers along their journey, providing excellent customer service to ensure that their experience with the product/service is the best it can be.
There are many ways to woo a client in the hope of turning them into long-term customer. Let’s take a look at four of the most important.
Start as You Mean to Go On
Setting expectations early on is very important in customer marketing. Therefore, as soon as a new customer makes a purchase or signs up to a service, make sure they are sent further details via email. This first email should set the customer’s expectations, clearly explaining what they should do next. Consider using video for this, as it is an efficient and easily digested medium for teaching customers about a product or service.
Let Your Customers Do the Talking
Customer marketing doesn’t have to be a hands-on, brand-led strategy – it also works really well as a peer-to-peer learning scheme. Allowing customers to learn from each another is a great way to improve the customer experience. Consider finding ways for clients and customers to share their experiences, to interact, and to gain a bit of exposure through features on the company’s blog or website.
Equally, as well as giving exposure to clients and customers, brands should also consider guest blogging and contributing to sites other than their own, as contributing to authoritative blogs and websites is a great way to build a brand.
Live events and in-person meet ups are vital to move from an online name to a more ‘human’ brand. Live events are an opportunity to meet customers face-to-face, enabling them to learn more about the product or service, as well as for the company to gain valuable feedback and insights from its most loyal and engaged customers.
Stay in the Picture
The final step in customer marketing is to keep the relationship going, rather than ending the conversation after successfully on-boarding each customer. Staying in touch ultimately means the customer is less likely to forget about the products or services offered.
Brands can stay in touch in a variety of ways, but within a month, aim to send out a newsletter; important updates and product releases; news and trends that are relevant to the industry; tips and tricks direct from the source; and any other content that would be interesting and valuable to the customer.
A monthly webinar for customers-only is a great way to keep the conversation going – giving customers a space where they can receive advice and answers to their questions.