Your previous customers are a valuable asset for your future business. Every new customer is someone with whom you must network with in the future, to keep them aware of your products and services and to use them as your brand ambassadors. These are the walking, talking billboards that bring in more business to you. The future of your business depends on repeat customers and referral customers, both of whom are vital to the ongoing relationship of your business, the customer and your business environment.
How can you establish this relationship with previous customers?
You can network with your customers whether they are online or offline. A simple letter or email can do the trick. Inquire about their day, address them by their name, tell them that you will continue to chat with them when they have time. Talk to them about their purchases or the services you have done for them. Check if they are satisfied, if they have any suggestions for improvement whether in products, prices, process or the service as a whole.
Arrange business lunches with your large clients to give them a special treat or arrange a special delivery for them at home. When you acknowledge their importance, the large clients always remember you. They will talk positively about you, tell their friends and business associates about your special treatment to them and how they feel about your business. This is obviously not applicable to all types of business but with most large buyers who spend thousands of dollars, this approach definitely helps.
The online business, on the other hand, will involve the use of newsletters, ezines, emails and coupons sent to previous customers as a method of business networking and refreshing your contact with the previous customers. Keeping your lines of communication open with existing customers and previous customers will increase the awareness of your products and the entire range of your offerings. This will result in increased sales, one repeat customer at a time.
Acquiring a new customer is much costlier than servicing an existing customer. Hence don’t ever forget your existing and previous customers. They are already aware of your products hence are easier to sell to. As a process, you can create mailing lists, both in offline and online business models. You start with saying that the customer had purchased your product or availed of one of your services and that you now have a great advantageous offer for them at a special price. Agreed, this is advertising, but it is networking at the same time because you already have an established relationship with that customer or group of customers.
It just makes good business sense to continue business networking with those customers you already have or had previously since they are already familiar with your product or service and have a good chance of being repeat buyers.