There is a saying that it costs 5 times the effort to get a new customer than it does to keep an existing one.
Interesting that so few out there seems to acknowledge this.
What would count as staying touch then?
Different for each customer?
Keep it simple.
The best tools for this would be old-fashioned mail. (Emails tend to end up in the junk category and if they are read they tend to be discarded with only a quick glance). First of if you want to send flashy big baskets of fruit and candy then do so but a christmas card is just as effective business wise. Still don’t think a card is enough? then add a charity donation in the customers name and put it on the card so they can feel good knowing that the basket they expected, feed a whole village in some other country :-).
So christmas cards is good, then you get in touch 1 time/ year.
Birthday cards is really good. I’ve used this for years and customers love it and so do I, when I get a congratulation card cause it shows that someone actually took the time and effort to send this. To get the customers birthday is usually a skill in it self since some people don’t want to get in to this and others of c has no problem with it. Explain what you want it for then its never a problem.
And this is what it’s all about really, showing that you send them a thought, put down some time and effort for the sake of staying in touch.
How about that, now we have 2 stay in touches / year.
And both are non sales opportunities, they should be only for staying in touch purposes so don’t pitch on the cards (or what you choose to send).
How about lunch?
Getting a customer to lunch are easy. sending the right message is important however so please make sure the restaurant is up to your standards (if you don’t have any its ok, ask someone who is picky about eating out or read some of the local reviews). You don’t want to end up with food poisoning your customer :-). The reason you are at the restaurant is to create a nice away from the office setting for checking out how your product/service is being used,thought off, implemented, if any improvements can be made to better it and if they need/ want something else. So make sure you get a nice table where you can’t talk undisturbed or if that is not possible just eat and chat away and book a new meeting so you can get a better shot at this. Since the purpose of the lunch is staying in touch you don’t actually have to sell anything but you should definitely be listening intently on what the customer has to say since they always (if allowed to talk freely) will give you information that you will need in the future.
Be there or be no where?
The world of business is still done mostly face to face and that is good. staying in touch however can certainly be made by these channels and makes it much easier to. If you don’t have the time to call or write emails to your customer but need them to know you still exist then write on their wall or just press the like button when you actually like what they said. They will not remember what you liked and mostly not what you have written they will remember you and that was the goal here.
Phone call /chat /video chat.
Have a purpose for calling! if it’s for staying in touch have something to say or don’t call at all. We are all in business and are therefore busy.
So to sum up.
Christmas card, birthday card, lunch, social media and phone.
This way you will be remembered by the customer and you can sell more to them and also free up time to get new ones without risking to lose the existing ones.