Retain Clients with Year-Round Appreciation
Customer retention is the key to effective seasonal marketing. The best customers are not those won and lost through momentary marketing but those who return throughout the year. Businesses with a year-round customer retention goal need to plan strategies for implementation. Remember that returning customers spread news of your great business.
Thank You Notes
Consider sending out greeting cards for seasonal events. Many of the best salesmen send up to a dozen cards through the year to every former customer. When possible, make these notes personal. When mailing typed notes to masses, sign by hand and write a small greeting phrase, such as “Happy Holiday!” or “Enjoy your product!” Don’t be overly sales oriented or consumers will receive the gimmick with a frown instead of a smile.
While avoiding overly salesy language, invite customers back for seasonal sales, freebies, or social events. Keep customers informed about your business and develop a relationship. When possible, meet important clients for lunch outside of business. This face-to-face contact cements relationships.
Return every phone call in a timely manner. If customers have to leave a message, provide a voicemail message that reassures customers you will respond quickly, and then follow through. Whoever calls should provide a first name and speak warmly with a personal to business casual tone.
Schedule Longer Meeting Times
Whether scheduling an interview or another meeting, communicate quality time. If the client sees you rushing off, they will feel less important. Schedule more time than you expect because meetings tend to run long, especially as you chat and walk your client to the door.
Gifts and Gift Cards
Sending small gifts to clients tells them you value their relationship enough to sacrifice for it. Providing gift cards is an easy method as well as a small box of candy or token items. If applicable, send clients an order from the local bakery or provide a catered lunch.
Freebees may come at no cost to you if you provide ebooks, reports, or videos that clients may benefit from. This information need not be directly related to your product. Provide information for the customer’s sake, whatever may be useful to them.
Giving and Receiving Referral Rewards
Reward your customers for bringing in more customers. People may favor your brand without spending a dime and happily refer friends if there is a reward. Let customers do your advertising for you.
On the flip side, refer other people to your business clients. Your clients will appreciate it and an unofficial business-referring partnership may form.
Maintaining quality over quantity client relationships fosters referrals and customer retention. Plan a year-round strategy with the consumer’s motives in mind.