The expression, “Out of sight, out of mind” is also relevant in the business-to–consumer relationship. How many times haven’t we ourselves done a transaction with a business, just never to hear from them again? It is relatively simple and inexpensive to make continual client contact a strategic priority in our businesses. Here are a few suggestions that you can consider applying:
1. Write articles
As business-owner you are an expert in a specific field/area of study. Think of interesting topics for discussion within your discipline and put your thoughts down in writing. It isn’t necessary for you to be a first-rate writer. Just make sure that your facts are correct, along with your spelling. Acquire the services of a copywriter if necessary and distribute your articles to your client base via e-mail.
2. Compile a newsletter
This ties up with the first point. Keep the content concise and make it interesting. Think of news, new products and releases as well as promotions, community involvement and competitions in which your clients can take part. A program such as Microsoft Publisher has standard examples of newsletters that make it easy to put your own together yourself. Always remember to include your business brand, web address and contact details. Use photos as well to enhance the newsletter.
3. Use of SMS/E-mail
Both these mediums are very effective for sending a message or information to your clients quickly. Use them too for announcing a special promotion.
4. Goodwill follow-ups
Make a point of contacting your top clients once or twice a year. Hear whether they are satisfied with their last purchases from you. Establish whether they have any other needs by means of which your business can possibly assist them, or for which you have a solution. You can also consider sending a letter or e-mail message, thanking them for their loyal support and offering them a discount on their next transactions above a certain amount. The letter or e-mail message is their proof of the offer.
5. Create opportunities for upgrading
Suppose your business sells cars. When a new model is released, you can invite all your clients who own the previous model to come to view the new one and test drive it. Structure a transaction that is irresistible. This principle can be applied in the case of many consumer products.
Existing clients are gems for any business. Make sure that your client data is up to date, decide what communication alternatives you wish to use to remain visible to your clients and make sure that your communication inputs add value for your clients. Take your competitors out of the picture – ensure that your clients remember your business and brand by maintaining continuous communication.
Article written by Jannie Rossouw, Head: Sanlam Business Market
Sanlam, Strandweg 2, Bellville, Suid-Afrika | www.sanlam.co.za