Thursday, September 20, 2007

Are you Searching or Feeding your Current Customer Base?

An associate emailed yesterday and was asking for suggestions on how to help his client get more customers. The business is 20 years old, air conditioning and heating company, and had made money in the past but now was just making ends meet. The associate thought the market was saturated and it was hard to stand out in a sea of air conditioning companies. What do you think?

I totally disagreed. I do not care how many current companies offer the same service, customer service is what makes you stand out. I recently bought an air conditioner unit over a year ago. Have I heard from this company? Have they called to see if I would like a check up?

The company was thinking they needed new customers but did they forget their past customers? The easiest person to sell to is someone who is a present customer and is satisfied with your service and/or products. Most businesses do not recognize the goldmine they have in their current customers.

I recommended to him that they survey their current customer base for feedback on products and service. Take notice of the positive comments and utilize them for testimonies; utilize the negative comments to identify areas in which the company should work on improvement. Turn your weaknesses into strengths and create "Customer Evangelists". When your customers are satisfied they are sharing with the world the excellent service and products you offer. This in turn creates repeat business but also helps to grow your customer base.

Another area of recommendation was to do follow up calls quarterly, seasonally, and after an installation of new products. If you remind people they need to service their high dollar investment to keep it running smoothly, most people will come back to the seller of the product if their service is good.

Another must for the customer friendly business, create a newsletter for mailings to customers keeping your business name in front of them. Write or buy articles of content that are a benefit and information for your customers. Offer specials through your newsletter.

Businesses will continue to succeed if they continually strive to meet their customers' expectations and if they over achieve they will have a customer for life along with all the word-of-mouth advertising that this person shares. Feed your current customers and searching for customers will become obsolete.

Carole DeJarnatt
Alliance Advisors, Inc.

No comments: