As an Entrepreneur your clients are the number one reason why your business is successful, because after all, a business cannot exist without money, and money comes from your customers. So once a customer uses your business, how can you keep them coming back for more? Them secret is simple, keep in contact with them, and give them reasons to come back to your business.
Each business is different, so you will want to look at what will work best for you. Here are a few ways that successful businesses keep in contact with their previous clients:
1) Start a client list.
Unless you record each one of your clients information, you will have no way of getting into contact with them. You can do this a number of ways, from as simple as getting a customer to sign a guestbook, all the way to as complicated as requesting your client to sign up for a newsletter. Once you have a list of clients, you will be able to contact as often as you wish.
2) If add a new product, service, or expand your business is anyway, inform your previous clients first.
You can achieve this a few ways:
-If you have a newsletter, include it in your newsletter.
-Do a mass mailing using postcards, letters, etc
-Call any client that has willing included their phone, but only use this idea if the change would directly relate to them.
-Post the change on your website.
3) Keep an up-to-date a website.
Websites can be accessed by any of your previous clientele, and provide a great link of communication. Not only should you provide information about your business, but you may also want to include information such as tips, and articles. Visit NetID(www.netid.co.za) about getting an affordable and do it yourself website and hosting.
4) Simple: Write thank you notes to your clients.
A handwritten thank you note shows the client that you truly appreciate their business. If a client feels that they are appreciated and welcomed, then chances are they will come back to your business before doing business with one of your competitors.
5) The use of marketing materials can keep you in contact with your clients.
You would be surprised how much impact a simple pen with your logo and phone number can do. Other marketing materials include: magnetic business cards, Key rings, and notepads. These marketing materials are typically fairly inexpensive, and can be ordered in mass quantities.
6) If you do not want to directly ask for contact information, you may need to get a little creative.
One idea is to hold a contest. Require the client to fill out a card with their information, or drop in their business card. Make sure that you tell the clients that you will be contacting them about your services or products(this can be accomplished by writing it on the card, or displaying it near where they have to their business card or information card once they are finished). Give away something that would be of great interest to your type of client, so you can get the maximum number of entries. Change this contest frequently to gain maximum exposure.
7) Discount coupons are a great way to bring your customers back.
Will 10% off hurt your business, especially if it means whether or not you get that client to come back in? You may want to mail these coupons out, or supply a code for use upon checkout if you have an online business.
8) You may want to consider starting a referral system.
A referral program will not only get your previous clients to come back, but it will also help you obtain new clients as well. For example: for each referral, you will give the client a 10 dollar gift card to use in your store. Be careful not to give out cash, as this may or may not be used for products or services for your business.
Buhle Dlamini is an Entrepreneur, Speaker and Writer as well as the Founder of Young & Able Youth Advisory Services cc, helping individuals and organizations turn their potential into performance, succeed in every area of their lives and achieve their dreams. Young & Able is an implementing partner to Heartlines a values-based Mass Media Initiative. Get Buhle’s FREE monthly Success Newsletter by visiting his website at www.youngable.com and visit get and stay motivated at www.motivated.co.za