So, you’ve gone through all the hard work of getting new customers by hanging marketing posters around town, creating eye-catching brochures and updating your Web site. Now that you have all these customers, what are you going to do with them?
You can’t just sit back and wait for them to walk into your store or surf to your Web site. Your hard work isn’t over yet! You need to start to build relationships with these newbies to ensure they stay around, and even become some of your biggest advocates.
Use the following tips to create long-term relationships with your newest customers:
Influence your customers’ opinions of your company before anyone else does. You’ve gotten their business once, so they already know a little bit about you. But there’s so much more that they don’t know.
Why not send them a thank-you letter or brochure, telling them how much you appreciate their business and also saying, “By the way, did you know …”? Many people buy products without knowing a lot about the company.
You can also send customers a welcome kit that tells them about your company’s history and what else you can do to help them. Doing this proactively helps you control your image among new customers so they won’t be swayed by your competition or others who don’t know your business well.
Track their buying behavior. Then use this information to segment your new customers into categories. You’ll need to market differently to people who are looking for price over quality and vice versa. You can determine who would be more apt to react to an up-sell and those who just want the basics. Tracking and segmenting new customers can save you a lot of time and money by focusing on what each category of customer wants.
Give them a consistent experience. You need to make sure every time your customer calls, they are greeted in the same, friendly manner and that they get the help they need. If a customer has a technical problem, he should get the same solution no matter which customer service rep he talks to. Make sure that all employees are trained in the same way, or are given access to the same information.
If your training is consistent, and you meet customer expectations every time, the customer will grow to trust you and that’s the most important ingredient in a long-term relationship.
Ask for feedback. People feel good when asked for their opinions. This is another venue ripe for building a long-term relationship. If you ask new customers for their feedback and then you implement that feedback, not only will that customer’s experience be more positive, but other customers’ experiences will likely also be more positive. If there’s a problem, you can fix it early and keep that customer, rather than wonder why he or she didn’t come back.
Whatever you do, don’t overwhelm a new customer. You don’t want to seem desperate for their business and you definitely don’t want to annoy them with loads of mail. Keep it simple and just let them know that you care. That’s what solidifies a long-term relationship.