Do you know how much it costs you to acquire a new customer? Of all numbers to understand in your business, this is both of the most important and most difficult to configure. Without advanced tracking of every marketing strategy you use, it’s complicated to keep track of exactly what you’re doing right.
Some first steps to understanding your strategies are to study your basic analytics:
- How many of your newsletters are being opened when you send them?
- Who is clicking on your newsletter links?
- How many of your newsletters are converting to sales?
- Where is your web traffic coming from?
- How many people are commenting on your social media posts?
- Which social media posts are driving the most comments and shares?
- Which posts are converting directly to sales?
- Did you notice any surge in purchases after launching a paid marketing strategy?
One thing is for certain, it costs significantly less to KEEP a customer than it does to ACQUIRE a new one.
Roberta Perry, owner and CEO of Scrubz Body, illustrates: “You have no business without your customers. Treat them as such. My whole entire philosophy about business is surrounding the customers.” Ms. Perry has built a huge brand around her customer-centric belief system.
Jennifer Waller, owner and CEO of Celtic Complexion, discusses the importance of building your business tribe, “Tribes are made up of people, not products, so in order to attract your tribe you need to lead with yourself not your products.” In the small business world, we coin the term “tribe” as your current customers are the ones who have already grown to love your products. They trust you and your business. If you treat them right, they will continue to come back and will share your products with their friends and family and consequentially, become your brand ambassadors.
So how do you keep your current customers engaged and happy? There is some investment involved, but as Angela Carillo, owner and CEO of Alegna Soap, explains: “I’m grateful for each one of my customers and I look for different ways to tell and show them. I truly believe for every dollar I spent to show them, it comes back twenty-fold.”
- Offer your special current customers incentives with freebies, extra samples, random gifts. As a customer of Roberta Perry, Angela Carillo, and Jennifer Waller, I can state that each of these extremely successful businesswomen goes above and beyond with special gifts.
- Create a VIP Facebook group for your special customers to join. Have an open discussion, be honest, play a few games; demonstrate your sincerity and appreciation through this group.
- Give your best customers the first opportunity to try new products. If you’re a maker, let them in on the creation process, if you’re in direct sales, offer them the occasional “host” benefit.
- Write handwritten thank you notes directly from you. A special note expressing your gratitude stands out above a big-box order.
- Offer to work directly with a customer to find the product or gift that would perfectly fit their needs. Make it personal by offering a phone call.
- Write blogs highlighting your best customers (with their permission, of course). Give them a chance to share their story to let them know how much they mean to you.
- Follow-up with your customers. Over time, your best customers will share their stories with you, from sadness to celebration. Take an extra step to show you care about them as people by sending an email or a phone call to check-in.
- Offer a refund policy and be flexible with your very best customers. If someone spends a lot with you and they’re suddenly unhappy with something, make it right, even if it breaks your own policy.
What makes a small business stand out is the personal service you can offer your customers. Stay humble by being aware that a person could choose to shop anywhere, but they’re choosing to shop with you. Make yourself part of everything with distinct gratitude, and your tribe will grow.