Forget New Customers For A Minute

Aug 25, 2011 | Customer Service, Social Media

“Social media continues to grow at a breakneck pace and businesses need to get on board or they will be left behind.”  I have heard or read this statement no less than a thousand times over the past year.  Do I agree with it?  100% Absolutely.  So much so that I would bet my farm and yours on the accuracy of the prediction.

What you might not expect is the reason why I would place the wagers.

So many “social media experts” constantly yell and scream the promises of new customers by joining their special super-secretive action plan.  Okay already — we all get it.  We business owners need to embrace social media!  But…what these experts are not talking about is the other half of the equation.  It’s the people already paying the bills. Otherwise known as our current customer base.

Revolutionary, I know!

What about those current customers who have already taken the plunge of faith into the world of trust?  The world of belief toward our businesses that we so very much want to see succeed.  Those people that have reached into their pockets and pulled out their currency which ended up in our bank accounts.  I say to those customers, “let’s do it again!”.  And again, and again.  Until we can’t stand it anymore and have to hire a personal assistant just to spend the money that we cannot.

The truth is this: Business owners spend 60% of their time running their business and 25% of their time trying to figure out how to get new customers.  15% managing the help hired to run the business. 

Is that bad?  No, not necessarily.  Could it be better?  For sure!  

Here are a few thoughts to chew on.  What would our mothers make us do after we just finished opening all of those graduation cards full of money from loved ones?  How about our spouses?  What would they recommend doing after opening up those wedding gifts that our friends and family spent time investing into our future?  Or say we just had a living room full of excited loved ones who brought over their gifts for our about -to-be-born children?  Easy answer:  THANK YOU CARDS!

Say what?  You expect me as a business owner to have the time to sit and personally write out thank you cards to the myriad of folks who walk through my door everyday?  Ha, you crazy chief!  What the heck is wrong with you?  

Enter social media.  we now have the tools to connect to each and every one of our customers.  Be it Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Text Message, FourSquare, Email, or a designated area of websites — we can do it.  We can say thank you in many different ways.  All we need is the connection.

How can we get connections? 

  1.  Ask for them.  Simply ask our customers during the check-out process for an email address or if they are on Facebook.  Gather the info.
  2. Sales or Special Offers.  If we are going to discount our products, why not give the first incentives to those who have already purchased from us?  Make them “like” our business page to get the special deals.
  3. Drawings.  Invest in these connections by holding a drawing or contest for our Hot Items.  Allow the first 50 or 100 customers who follow our business on Twitter to be eligible to win.
  4.  New Product Releases.  Promote new products on our Social Media channels first.  Only allow our “connected customers” who like our Facebook or follow us on Google+ or Twitter to see these new releases.
  5. Communicate Regularly.  Once we get our customers to connect, then feed them useful information on a daily or weekly basis regarding items #1-#4 above.

Lastly, let’s spend a few sentences talking about customer service.  This may be the most important aspect of social media.  There is simply no way any customer service technique can beat a live human voice, but allowing our customers to chat with our customer service team on Facebook is pretty incredible.  We have utilized this feature on both Facebook and Twitter over the past year.  Our customers LOVE it!  Again, we have to be able to make the connections first, but once we have the connection there are so many ways to deliver reasons for our customers to come back.

Very simply put: We are talking about technology that makes the process or processes much easier to keep our current customers coming back to our businesses.  Before we spend the time, effort, and money to gain new customers please-please take a look at what we already have and put a plan together to make it repeat.  Repeat business is the key.

Not sure how to do any of the above?  Need help formulating a plan or strategy?  Get help. Today.


MH
@212MediaStudios 

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