Sunday, February 15, 2009

Marketing and Customer Rentention

In this time of economic uncertainty many, many small business owners are hurting. I was in a meeting last week with some small business owners and they were asked how much is their Marketing budget this year. Can you believe the consensus was that most of them had cut all money for Marketing this year. How can this be?

I can understand how many small businesses are not seeing many new customers, but there are a small percentage that are. Could these be your customers? If you don’t have a plan to retain your customer base, it might be walking across the street or turning to another website to do their business.

These days it doesn’t take much to show your customers you still care about them. A simple phone call once a quarter could work. Like I’ve mentioned a dozen or so time, it is all about personal communications and making people feel appreciated, not another mass mailing or flyer about the next great sale.

Just think back to the stories our parents and grandparents talk about. They use to have their doctor over for dinner or had a bake sale for someone down the street who just lost their job. It is easy to sit in front of your computer and put a mass email together and sends it to your customers. I don’t know about you, but I delete over 100 of them a day. Most do nothing to get to know me, but have everything to do about promoting their company and why I need what they are selling.

These days what is wrong with a phone call or a greeting card put in the mail to celebrate your customer’s birthday? Let’s get back to basics and help each other through this “economic uncertainty”.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Diane- I found a link to your blog on LinkedIn, and am an event producer as well. I am new to the blogging "web2.0" social media craze, and am developing my blog at this time.

    Reading your post made me think "wow, there is someone out there who knows that actually having a bake sale for someone that has lost their job really would make a large impact"! It is true that most everyone is only thinking about their immediate situation, and how they will be able to get "the next sale" or the next client in this economy. I think it could very well be as simple as you put it- why not touch them personally rather than with an email blast?

    I prefer sending hand written cards as well- people really do still love to open an authentic letter or card. It takes more effort, hence, shows your clients you have thought about them more than the web ads that sneak up on your screen to send people free e-cards. Don't get me wrong, the ease of the internet and communicating is far more savvy for time poverous people who have a hard time managing their time and tasks. There are so many collaboration tools on the net now as well, so that people can evade the face to face meeting altogether if they choose.

    What tends to be missed though, is the camaraderie and true interaction and collaboration that meeting face to face brings. I am sure that is a topic for another post though.

    We never know who is luring our clients to do business with them. In my opinion, a personal note or phone call can make a large impact when it comes to our clients deciding whether or not to continue doing business with us, so thank you for reminding everyone!