How to Connect with Your Customers: Past – Present – Future

unnamedAt the December 8, 2015 WBN meeting, Marietta Courtney, CPA ran a very interesting group activity designed to help small business owners identify and share skills, tips, challenges and successes in the area of customer growth. The concepts and questions that we discussed were created by Jen Vondenbrink of LS Business Solutions who has agreed to allow us to share them on our blog.

Potential Customers:

In order to build your business you always need to be engaging potential customers and clients.

  • What is the biggest challenging in engaging potential customers or prospects?
  • How do you nurture your leads offline? Online?
  • Has your source of potential customers changed over the years?
  • What best practices do you have to build and maintain your pipeline of qualified potential customers?

Current Customers:

Existing Customers can be your biggest source of income when they are engaged on an ongoing basis. It is easy, however, to take them for granted until it is too late. What are your best practices in engaging your existing customers – not only so they continue to purchase, but they are a continuous source of referrals.

  • Why is it important to have systems in place to maintain engagement with current customers?
  • What are the challenges of engaging your existing customers when it comes to additional sales or referrals?
  • How do your existing customers or clients refer business? Do they do it often?
  • What approximate percentage of your existing customer are repeat customers?
  • Do you know who your super customers or clients are? (Those clients who not only purchase from you but also share you with others.)
  • What best practices do you have in place to maintain engagement with current customers?

Post or Past Customers:

Although many of us may have long relationships with customers, there may come a time when our services are no longer required. If you have had a positive relationship with your customers, this should not inhibit them from referring others to your business. Past or Post customers can be as valuable if not more valuable in bringing in new business.

  • What are the challenges in engaging Past Customers?
  • Do you have systems in place to stay in touch with them? How effective are they?
  • What is the estimated percentage of business you receive from Past Customer Referrals?
  • What best practices do you have to stay engaged with Past Customers?

Follow Up Thoughts:

  • Determine how you would like to keep this topic relevant.
  • What are the action steps you are going to take?
  • Whether you are a new startup or a small business, the way to survive and grow is to keep in touch with your customers. Your existing customer list or database, is a treasure you may be overlooking. How effectively are you “working” that hard-won list of customers? Your existing customers are a resource that should be constantly worked and reworked, over and over again, because, if you do it systematically, you will power up your sales and profits to a degree that can be absolutely astonishing.

More resources on this topic:

6 Essential Rules For Keeping In Touch With Your Customers
The Benefits of Staying in Touch With Your Customers
7 Simple Ways to Stay in Touch With Your Customers
Building Relationships with Email Marketing

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