When considering strategies for growth, many organisations focus on selling to new customers. It’s true the majority of growth will come from new business, but existing and lapsed customers should not be ignored. It is cheaper to sell more to current customers than find new ones, so take steps to deepen existing relationships for a cost-effective return.

Regular communication can boost sales and increase customer retention rates.

A customer newsletter which includes targeted special offers and new product details will encourage existing customers to buy. Add a newsletter opt-in box to the foot of emails or your website and offer exclusive services and discounts as an incentive to sign up. Blogs, direct mail, podcasts or thought leadership pieces are other useful ways to demonstrate expertise and inform customers about relevant products and company developments.

A personal touch to customer service will help engender customer loyalty.

Can you include a free gift, sample or thank you note with every purchase? Perhaps you can offer product maintenance advice at point of sale? Organising events such as drinks parties, product launches or local festivals will allow you to develop more personal relationships with key clients and customers.

Loyalty schemes can also help strengthen existing relationships and encourage customers to purchase more.

Could you reward customers with discounts, vouchers or extra goods in return for repeat custom or high value purchases? Issue vouchers or e-coupons with an expiry date and you will increase customer response rates.

Finally, don’t exclude lapsed customers from your growth strategy.

Lapsed customers have dealt with your business before, so they may be easier to convert than cold leads. Look back at your records and identify valuable customers who have not made a purchase in recent months. Customers often drift due to lack of contact, so send them a personalised email with details of new products and discounts that might interest them. You could follow the communication up with a phone call to discuss current offers or ask for feedback regarding past purchases and customer service. This provides the perfect opportunity to demonstrate how your organisation can meet the customer’s needs in the future.

If you would like further advice on how best to communicate with existing customers, please call Bob Design and Marketing on 0117 973 9326 or email info@meetbob.co.uk

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