You’re standing on a stage in a large room. It’s quiet, you’re alone. You start to hear voices outside the huge double doors. The doors open wide and within minutes, all of your customers are walking in this room. The room fills completely with every one of your customers in attendance. They all came, look at them, what a sight.
Wait a minute. Who are these people? It occurs to you that you don’t recognize most of them. They have to be your customers because this event was invitation only. Seriously, who are they? You’re feeling unsettled, because how well do you really know your customers? These people really don’t recognize you either.
Wait! You spot Julie and several feet away, there’s Brian. Yes, two of your best clients. Now you’re starting to feel better. Look over there! There are others that look vaguely familiar, you just can’t remember their names, but you know they are good customers. Perusing the crowd, it occurs to you that you really can’t identify the majority of people in this room.
Now, hold that thought because here is a disturbing statistic that must be faced about your existing customers. Over a period of time, it is estimated that at least 65% of those people in that room will walk out the door and do business elsewhere. Why? It’s simple. Because they have absolutely no loyalty, no relationship and no connection with you.
You tell yourself that you have a great product/service and competitive pricing. But you know what? So does the competition. There is not one reason for them to continue doing business with you.. Why should they? After all, you couldn’t even identify who most of them were.
The startling fact is that your customers are just “sitting on the fence” waiting until something better comes along . . . and it will. It will be a company that makes them feel appreciated and knows who they are. A company that wants to build a business relationship and looks forward to seeing them. A company that knows their name and makes them feel important.
Let’s continue on. As these customers leave, you have to replace them. After all, you have depended on their repeat business, referrals and revenue to stay in business. So what are you going to do? Ugh, it’s time to pound the pavement, start an email marketing campaign, knock on doors, cold calls . . . do whatever it takes to gain, acquire, obtain, bag, get, capture the sales. Of course we need sales! No sales, no business, period.
Now you think about how much money it’s going to cost to replace every customer that leaves. Shun to think. Referrals aren’t even coming in. How much money would it have cost to show your gratitude and thank them? How much time would you have to spend to keep them coming back?
The answer may surprise you because it is about 80% or less than what you are probably spending today to gain a new customer.
You already know this, but here it is in simple terms. It’s a lot harder and a lot more costly to replace or get a customer back once their gone, than it is to keep them once they’re yours. Don’t forget about your existing customers. Don’t take them for granted. Don’t think that they won’t “move on” because seriously, they will. It’s just a matter of time.
Bottom Line: Repeat business and referrals are the reason businesses survive. Connect with your customers on a regular basis. Tell them, “thank you”. Show your appreciation and build a lasting relationship with them. And in doing so, you may just find your new best customer and your new best friend!