This post was written by Fiverr®, the world’s largest marketplace of online services for entrepreneurs.
It might almost seem counter-intuitive, but people who have already purchased from you are one of your greatest assets. The importance of cultivating a relationship with your customers continues even beyond after they pay for your services, and in fact it can pay off in the long term even more than expending all your efforts on getting new customers.
Simply sending a monthly newsletter, or regular messages for holidays and birthdays can be a completely free way to remind previous customers of how satisfied they were with your work. Staying in touch with customers might inspire them to contact you for a new project or will show them how dedicated you are to customer service and will encourage them to recommend you to friends and colleagues.
Here are some of the top reasons why you must stay in touch with your customers:
New Customers are Expensive
You might have heard of the term “cost of acquisition”. This is the concept of how much money it takes to acquire new customers. When you tally all the marketing costs, this can really add up to quite a lot. A previous customer, however, has already been acquired and can be a great source for new business without all of the additional acquisition costs that it took to get them in the first place. This customer, in addition to being a potential source of additional business in the future, is likely to refer people to you if they are happy, again reducing your cost of acquisitions for even more customers.
Keep Customers Out of Competitors’ Hands
You might think your customers will think of you the next time they have a project in your field. While you are counting on their memory, other entrepreneurs and companies are vying for your customers’ business. Remember cost of acquisition? There are companies with huge budgets devoted just to acquiring new customers. Don’t let your hard-earned customer become somebody else’s! Even the simplest gestures of communication keep you fresh in your customers’ mind when a new project arises and prevents them from giving another service provider a try.
Build Your Reputation
When you look for someone to work with, you want to work with an expert right? Or you want to work with someone who you genuinely enjoy communicating with. The ideal is, of course, to find someone who fits both of these categories. Being in touch with your customers about things that are relevant to the service you provide builds your image as an expert in their mind and reminds them what great customer service you provide.
Here’s where we need to remember that every customer, even from the smallest job, should be treated like a king. As an entrepreneur yourself, you know that where you start is almost never where you end up. A customer who has ordered something very small from you in the past, could be growing and developing and may have a bigger budget and bigger goals in the future. If you have been in touch with them, you will be the first one they call when they are ready to upgrade. For example, if you’re a graphic designer and you made a simple logo for someone, you may write them off as a one-time small job. Meanwhile their customer base could be growing, their business expanding, and their vision for their business developing. Perhaps they will get to a point where they can redesign their entire website and if you’ve been in touch, you’ll be the one they contact for the project. This is just one example but the principle is true across categories. There is no such thing as a small or unimportant customer because their potential is theoretically unlimited.
You Need to Stand Out
At the end of the day, everybody likes to feel special. Part of the reason why it’s so important to stay in touch with customers is so that they will feel special and so that they will perceive you as unique among businesses. Businesses that offer a personal touch are becoming more and more rare these days. By staying in touch you’ll stand out from the crowd and customers will appreciate the attention that you give them even once your initial business has concluded. Again, this is the special something that will bring repeat customers and referral.
Invest and Get Returns
It all comes down to building your business, and keeping in touch with customers is an essential part of ensuring your own success. Repeat customers, referrals, and a boosted reputation are the most basic returns that you’ll get from investing in your customer relationships and you’ll be glad you put in that little bit of extra effort when you see how it can pay off.
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