November 20, 2009 | WineDirect Admin
How do you set yourself apart in a relatively saturated and extremely competitive market? You need to capitalize on every opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your existing customers. While identifying ways to continue to reach new audiences and find ways to acquire new customers, you always need to be finding new and exciting ways to engage with your current customers.
Far too often, the focus on new business trumps the efforts to continuously build upon the current relationships that you have. Your most valuable prospect is the customer who has already purchased. By developing key tactics to engage and introduce new opportunities to your existing customer base, you will find their willingness to repurchase and step closer to that “Brand Ambassador” role.
Listed below are a couple things you can do that are relatively easy but go a far way in continuing the experience and strengthening the relationship.
Always Follow Up! Follow up with customers within 30 days after they have purchased and ensure the product was great and the purchasing experience was exceptional. If there was a problem with the shipment, correct it. If you had not reached out, you potentially would have never known about the issue and you could have lost that customer. This is an opportunity to ensure everything went well and if it didn’t, make it right.
Send birthday wishes! My inbox is full of companies trying to sell me something and rarely ever does the email subject catch my eye. However, on my birthday, if I get a message saying, “Happy Birthday Stephen”, you can bet your bottom dollar, I am going to open that message and read the entire thing. It is a way to make sure your customers know how important they are to you. Regardless of your size, this is something that is relatively easy to do and goes a long way in further strengthening your relationship with that customer.
Make it personal. In your marketing outreaches, segment your customer database and ensure a personal and meaningful message is coming across. For example, emailing your customers in Sonoma and reminding them that your upcoming event is only 20 minutes away is a much different message then blasting your entire database and creating a generic event reminder that lacks the personal touch you would offer in a personal interaction. Perhaps the subject line could even say, Our Wine and Food pairing is only 20 minutes away from your home! Ensure your marketing messages are personal and focused on the customer. This is definitely a key way to stand out from the rest.
Focusing on Customer Service and using new creative methods to increase the life time value of your existing customers is a strategy that will always yield significant returns. Find ways to reach and service your customers that are valuable to them and you will find a customer base willing to purchase more and spread your story!