Here’s a Simple And Easier Way to Grow Your Established Business - Even Better Than Client Referrals
Written by: Dr. Adam Arnold, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise
If you’re a business owner and you’ve been in business for a while, you might be thinking there is absolutely nothing better than getting a referral. And I would agree with you. Yes, referrals are nice. But let’s face it. Even referrals can be a bit “hit and miss”. Because even though you come highly regarded, the truth is, you don’t know them, and they don’t know you (yet). And chances are, they don’t know how good your product or service is (yet). And the person that referred them into your business might be the easiest customer to work with, and the person referred might be the toughest customer you’ve ever had.
So even though referrals are generally great, they can be variable. Referrals are probably the 2nd best client you want to work with. There’s one more customer type that’s even better than receiving referrals from your existing clients. The very best client you can work with is an inactive client. That is, someone who has used your product or service before, but for some reason stopped using it.
You see, the reason inactive clients are better than referrals is because they already know you and your company. And you already know them. Sure, there could be exceptions. Maybe it’s an inactive client you do not want back again as a customer. Maybe your company has had a major change in the way you deliver your service or product and maybe a complete change of staff.
But even with all of the exceptions, inactive clients are still better and today I want to share with you some steps you can take to get them using your product or service again! One of the great things about inactive clients is that you already know them. So you know which inactive clients you loved working with and those that well you didn’t quite enjoy working with.
Your first step is to go through your inactive client database and segment them into clients you would prefer to work with. A simple way to do this is to determine what you feel makes a good client and what makes for not such a good client and rank them accordingly.
Here’s an example:
A Clients - you loved working with, paid on time, and referred others.
B Clients - you loved working with, were easy and paid on time, but didn’t refer as often.
C Clients - that were OK to work with, paid on time, but didn’t refer and required a bit more attention.
D Clients - that you really didn’t enjoy working with and wouldn’t really want to work with ever again.
So, you have your clients segmented. Now on to step 2—creating a system to get the clients back into your business again. The key to reactivating past clients is to keep in touch with them. If you have a business that’s already busy, then you’ll definitely want to use some automation.
I suggest using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system that incorporates the ability to have “smart” contacts. That is, it will change the automation based on how the customer interacts with emails, SMS, and other ways you are contacting them. There is nothing worse than someone receiving an email asking them to take some kind of action when they have already done so.
Here are 4 keys to making sure your automation doesn’t become annoying.
1. Build value in your communication.
When you’re sending out a communication to your inactive clients, don’t make every SMS, email, and call self-promotion. Make it about them and give them something they will truly value and help them.
2. Run an email and Facebook Ad focus group.
Most people are probably familiar with in-person focus groups where you gather a bunch of clients or potential clients into a room and ask them questions.
In our company, we run client focus groups online. We do this with Facebook ads targeting people who would be their ideal customers. We also do this with emails to their current and past clients. We generally ask them 5 simple questions related to the product or service we are marketing.
3. Update them on any changes in your business and even include some personal information from time to time to keep “connected”.
Your company updates could be your upcoming events, training you and your company are undergoing, new equipment, or a fundraiser. There are hundreds of ideas you can come up with to share information with current and past clients.
4. Of course, you should also let past customers know about special offers and even a “welcome back” offer that’s just for them.
The key with the offer is it needs to be relevant to them. You also want to mix up offers with the other examples above.
As you can see, keeping in contact with your past clients is important and remember, keeping your clients is always the best option, it costs a lot less to keep clients than it does to get new clients.
Create your reactivation system if you do not have one. If you do, try running a customer focus email and see if there is anything you can do to preserve customer loyalty or restore past clients.
I would like to leave you with this quote: "Good customer service costs less than bad customer service." - Sally Gronow
Dr. Adam Arnold, Executive Contributor Brainz Magzine
Adam Arnold is the head digital marketing strategist at Web Profit Maxmiser and he helps companies and businesses solve the customer acquisition, conversion and retention problems. After spending 20 years running businesses, studying human buying psychology and finding out what it takes to really make a business exponentially grow. Dr. Arnold knows how to deeply connect with your customers so you create raving fans for life. Along the way, Dr. Arnold has the good fortune of being a best selling author, speaker, mentor and had opportunities to work with some of the worlds top elite business owners, marketers and coaches. When he’s not focused on marketing strategy, you’ll probably find him in the garden cursing at the weeds.