10 ways to get customers to spend more
It easy to get carried away with acquiring new customers, but unless your company is just starting out, your current customers may actually contain more untapped potential than new ones. In the majority of cases, it’s easier to squeeze more value out of existing customers than it is to find more.
- Turn everyone into a sales person. It’s not just the sales people who bring in new orders. It’s the job of everyone in the company to make sure that customers get value for money from the goods and services you provide. Remember every single person in your company could have customer contacts. Make sure everyone knows what’s expected when they’re dealing with a customer.
- Focus on the “profit-power” customers. In almost any small or medium-sized business, some customers are more profitable than others. It’s not always the customers who spend most. Sometimes it’s the customers who pay most promptly or need less servicing. Make sure your management accounts are sufficiently detailed to reveal the most profitable customers – then make sure they’re getting exactly what they want.
- Take the long-term view. A customer who’s not spending much at first could become a profitable buyer in the long run. Take the long view when developing the potential of the most promising customers.
- Use technology to build customer relationships. Customer relationship management (CRM) software can help you track the detailed customer information you need at your fingertips to take decisions.
- Recognise that all customers are different. Find out which customers want which products and tailor offerings to their special needs. When you communicate with customers demonstrate you understand their unique needs.
- Keep in touch with customers. Contact customers with information that they find useful and helpful. Think carefully about the best way to do this – such as by emails, surveys, newsletters, mail-shots, and webinars. Address customers by their name rather than simply calling them “Dear Customer” in impersonal mailings.
- Run a loyalty scheme. Even small companies run schemes these days. A loyalty card, for example, can boost customer spend by stimulating more orders. And why not write to customers occasionally to thank them for their business?
- Take complaints seriously. Make sure only ‘customer-facing’ staff are handling complaints – and give the staff power to resolve complaints quickly. Customers who’ve had complaints dealt with effectively often become even more loyal.
- Join the social media revolution. Keep an eye open for what customers are saying about you on websites and in media such as Twitter and Facebook. Answer any criticisms with facts and good humour.
Make customer care a way of life. Customers get more confidence you’re meeting their needs when the whole company is responding to them with one voice. It’s important that tasks such as invoicing and despatch are linked with sales and support systems so that account handlers can see everything that’s been happening with each customer.
Luckily for us, Peter Bartram’s background is in IT and Finance. Being a prolific writer and former editor makes him the ideal person to provide informative content for Moneypenny.