Customer communication with existing customers is generally neglected by businesses as they focus their marketing and advertising on communicating with potential customers. All businesses should be in contact with their existing customers a minimum twelve times per year as the benefits of doing this are one hundred times the costs involved. Research shows it is five times easier to sell to an existing customer than a new potential customer.
The benefits of an effective customer communication plan include:
- Higher customer retention rates. (You do not have to continually get new customers each year to replace the ones lost due to apathy or neglect).
- Higher client satisfaction.
- More customer referrals.
- You can charge higher fees. This is possible as customers perceive you are providing a more valuable service due to the constant contact.
The customer communication plan involves contacting the client twelve times per year and should include a combination of monthly newsletters, customer phone calls, customer visits (by service oriented businesses like accountants, lawyers etc.), and customer invitations to seminars or shop promotions.
The key to effective client communication is to always focus on communicating benefits and relevant information to customers. Customers do not want to be ‘sold’ to, but educated and informed. For example, a monthly email from a retailer selling hiking equipment would focus on new hiking products and technologies, reviews of ‘must do’ hiking trails, and ‘expert’ reviews on essential equipment.