Customer Retention Tips

November 3, 2003

Five Customer Retention Tips

By: Adams Hudson

Every customer you have represents an opportunity. Do you:
a) Openly attempt to drive them to your competition.
b) Not really do much after the sale.
c) Use a strong retention program.

Here’s what you just did: You smiled at “a”, you sheepishly admitted to “b”, but knew I wanted you to say “c” which is of course the best answer.

Bad news of the day: If you do “b”, you may as well agree to “a” because your customer perceives “no contact” as “no relationship to lose” so why not?

A lost customer is a loss. No future sales. No referrals. You cut off the source. Bottom Line: Give them reasons to stay. How?

1) Good Records – Your customer database is the most important data in your office. Be able to mail to your customers instantly, knowing their purchase and service history. You can ‘tailor’ messages accordingly without mailing “a great offer” to someone who just paid full price for same. Think “people” not “lists”.

2) Maintenance Agreement Program- Do not attempt this with broad marketing. First, market for tune-ups, then in person for the Agreement. Hit the repair customer at point of invoice with your MA offer.

3) Loyalty Bonus- “Discount Bucks” or other “pre-paid” services dissuade customer attrition. Coupons can work superbly. Wise marketers accept competitor’s coupons for $ off services. Why wouldn’t you?

4) Referral Program- “Customer get a customer” is a smooth way to double business, but you won’t if you don’t ask. Offer discounts for system purchase that includes referrals. Put all referrals on your list for…

5) Customer Retention Newsletter – This is the quickest and most effective by far. A newsletter program is an automatic program 2-4 times a year that builds relationships and gently prods for all the above plus more sales and huge retention. Most people think they have to write and design them. Not so. We can create them for you (others can do it too.)

Adams Hudson is president of Hudson, Ink “Creative Marketing that Works.” His company creates a full line of marketing tools for contractors including Customer Retention newsletters, Yellow Page ads, “turn-key” Marketing PowerPacks and custom copywriting. You can get a free subscription to his “Sales & Marketing Insider” by faxing your letterhead to 334-262-1115 with the request. Also check out on the web for free marketing tips or call 1-800-489-9099 for more info.

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