With top companies spending billions of dollars advertising to prospective clients, customer acquisition appears to be the most important objective at these businesses. However, a business’ most valuable consumers are often its current customers.
Here are five tools that businesses can use to follow up with customers:
1. Start simple with a Thank You card. Businesses that don’t send Thank You cards are usually facing time constraints. Thank You cards send a positive message, especially if they are hand-written. Although this does take time, a thoughtful Thank You card can separate your business from the competition (especially if they’re too busy to send one!)
2. Similar to Thank You cards, postcards are another way to follow up with your customers through the mail. An added benefit of using postcards is that they can deliver a variety of messages. Postcards can serve as reminders, congratulatory messages, holiday greetings or marketing fodder. Keep the message informative and fun, but not overly promotional. Imprinting a brand logo on the postcard is a sufficient reminder to the customer.
3. “Leave Behinds” are simply promotional products given to customers after a client meeting or sales transaction to show a business’ appreciation and leave a lasting impression. The product essentially follows the customer to their home or workplace and serves as a reminder tool.
4. Use corporate gifts to build customer loyalty while increasing your brand’s value. Corporate gifts are a popular use of high-end promotional products. Start by gathering a list of your top clients. It could be a large or small group depending on your budget. Keep in mind that the goal of corporate gifts is to add value to a brand and its relationship with the consumer, so choosing a high quality gift in lower quantities is more effective than a high quantity of products with lower value. Corporate gifts are a great way to keep your business at the top of clients’ minds.
5. A strategy to communicate with customers after a sale is to collect feedback. Follow-up a sale with a phone call or e-mail that surveys the customer’s experience and satisfaction with the product or service. This is a strategy that has two-way benefits. Not only will customers feel empowered with the opportunity to voice their opinion, but businesses can greatly benefit from the information gathered. Just remember to keep the survey short and simple.
When implementing these CRM strategies, it is important for businesses to keep two key ideas in mind. First, personalization helps cut through the clutter. A direct mail piece addressed to “Our Valued Customer” defeats the purpose of CRM. Imprinting a brand logo or message onto a promotional product makes the gift more personal. Personalization reduces the generic feel that plagues most marketing campaigns. Secondly, a loyal customer is a business’ best salesperson. Customers who are satisfied with their relationship with a business are a doorway to new sales leads. In other words, investing in customer retention also leads to customer acquisition.