Of course, you should spend money to attract new customers. But don’t forget about the ones you already have. Here are some ideas on how to get more from the customers you already have.
Offer your customers an incentive to keep coming back to you. For example, many fast food restaurants offer promotions that encourage customers to buy five sandwiches to get the sixth one free or at a discounted price.
Expand your worth
Provide something extra to a customer he can’t get from anywhere else for a nominal fee. Customers who buy software from a computer store can get a discount for new software when the old software becomes obsolete.
Offer complementary products
You can gain a great deal of loyalty if you provide something that the customer desperately needs. For example, a travel agency books a vacation for a family and includes a discount voucher for a rental car.
Out of sight, but never out of mind
There is a temptation to forget about a customer who hasn’t been around for a while. Let them know that they are never forgotten by sending them an email that you’ve received a product in that might interest them. Use email to alert them of a sale that includes a product or service you think they might need.
Hold special events for existing customers only. For example, send an email invitation to existing customers to attend a special private one-day or two-hour sale and close the store to other customers.
Educate your customers about some aspect of your business that interests them. For example, an owner of a car audio retail store invites existing customers to a seminar on how to create a rocking audio system for their car.
Your customers may forget what you can offer them over time. Remind them with a personal letter once or twice a year with a list of services you offer or create a newsletter quarterly to remind existing customers about your services and seasonal products you carry.
Incentives for referrals
Your customers can help you expand your customer database. Encourage them to refer your business to friends and business associates for a large discount on a major service or product.
Permit customer input
Be receptive to ideas you get from your customers on improving your business. For example, encourage customers to vote online for products you should be carrying. The product that wins the vote is added to the inventory and the customers who voted for it get first crack at purchasing it.
Give a product or a service free to customers on their birthday.
It all comes down to this. Do what you can to develop a relationship with your customers. They would rather do business with a friend than a stranger.