Reach out to your current customers and prospects– especially if you are a small business.
I have owned my own business for almost for many years – and I find it is a constant learning experience.
One thing that I have learned that has benefitted my business is that the personal touch with your customers can differentiate you from the others in your space. A little background…
When I left my corporate gig as VP of Events, I decided to finally go out on my own and hopefully use what I had learned in over 25 years of event management to assist associations, media companies and others who produce events. I figured that if it didn’t work out – I could always find a job.
Thank goodness it worked out – and now I run my own business from Florida – away from the cold – with clients who are old friends….what could be better?
Back to the personal touch – one of the first projects I was asked to do when I started was event telemarketing for a media company. What I found was that my client’s customers really appreciated the personal touch of a phone call – even if you did not reach them, we left a message and sent an email. Many times if you did not get a call back – you would get an email response. But better yet, if you got to speak to them, you learned a lot that is valuable to your customer!
If they are going to attend, they are extremely grateful for the call/reminder – and if they are not, they will often tell you why – which is great information to relay back…..maybe there is a perception issue, or something that happened that turned them off that you are totally unaware of.
Better to know than not know – right?
This has led to membership renewal campaigns for associations – which the members really love! Many times they have allowed their membership to lapse for no reason other than it slipped their mind! You have the opportunity to educate them about the new benefits of membership and hopefully, they will renew over the phone with the caller.
You also hear about the issues that they have with the association if they don’t renew – very valuable insight on your customer. Association membership renewals are truly impacted by the economy – so many of these lapsed members may be having a hard time convincing their management that they need to rejoin. We do all that we can to give them a reason to do it – and to let the association know what we are hearing.
So – how does this impact the small business?
There is a lesson to be learned from this – reach out to your current customers and prospects on a regular basis – not just when a bill is not paid.
Send them useful information, or just call and leave a message saying you were thinking about them because….I have recently sent out two promotional packages to my clients and prospects – that have truly benefitted my business in terms of new customers….
Both items have my company name and logo on them – and a message that resonates with my busy customer base. I would definitely give it a try…you don’t have to spend a lot to make an impact.
We all have a lot of competition out there – so be sure to be the one that remembers the personal touch – you will definitely stand out from the others!