How are you communicating to customers?
Everyone is looking to grow current number of customers, but it’s important to look at how you’re communicating with them, if you’re communicating to them at all.
If you aren’t communicating with customers on an ongoing basis how can you expect to grow your business, especially during economic times like this?
To reach potential new customers you really have to sit down and define who your customer is. Where do they get their news and information? What do they do? What are they looking for? What do you have to offer them? Answer these questions and you can begin to understand what you need to say and then when, where and how you need to say it.
Options for communicating to new customers include direct mail (with a great offer for trial or discount), public relations and advertising. You can even create a newsletter (Constant Contact is an affordable option) and purchase an email list through local vendors. Whatever you do make sure that your words will attract the customer to you. Most first time purchases or trials come from making a strong offer, coupon or having a sale. (These promotions are particularly attractive to people these days).
Finally, remember that it’s just as important to maintain communications with existing customers as it is to attract new ones. They’ve already tried your business and, hopefully, had an extremely positive experience and will return again and again. While advertising and PR will make them feel good about using your business, I suggest asking current customers for their email address, or start getting it when they start business with you, and create a newsletter specifically for them. Today, email newsletters can be personalized and you can afford to have two with different messages.
Just make sure that you aren’t SPAMMING customers with too many communications in a month, or even a week. Keep them timely with valuable information and offers otherwise people will opt out of the email list by unsubscribing. Direct Mail services are specifically designed to deliver on a quarterly basis to insure you aren’t “over doing it.”
Share your advice on communicating with customers. What’s been your greatest success?
Jennifer Fortney, Cascade Communications