Today I’d like to lighten the mood a bit and tell you all a warm and fuzzy little story about my mom and Zappos. Yes, my real mother (Diane) and Zappos, the customer service focused online shoe retailer.
A few weeks ago she was online looking for a new pair of shoes to wear to a wedding. She had recently broken her ankle and needed a pair of shoes with a long ankle strap to fit around an air cast.
So, she finds a pair of shoes she likes online. Being more of a traditional shopper, she wanted to call and speak to a human being about the shoes to make sure the ankle straps would fit in her situation.
During the conversation with the customer service representative, she shared her reasons for shopping for a new pair of shoes. After hearing her uncomfortable reason, they waved any shipping costs and put her name on a “Preferred Customer List.”
If that wasn’t enough, one week later she received this get well card in the mail:
Zappos' outstanding customer service
Not only did the customer service representative she was working with write her a thoughtful message, but six other representatives signed the card as well.
It’s just another lesson on awesome customer service and an example of how Zappos is leading the way.
It’s a well-known fact that the cost of keeping an existing customer is much less than trying to attract a new one. Still, many businesses refuse to listen.
Businesses that don’t understand the long-term value of customer loyalty tend to spend incredible amounts of money on marketing and advertising to attract new customers, while neglecting their existing customer base.
Especially when your business is going through tough times, focusing your efforts on existing customers is critical to your success.
It is consistently found that 60% to 80% of a business’ lost customers are either ‘very satisfied’ or simply ‘satisfied’ right before they take their loyalty elsewhere, according to a recent Business Week Tip.
Here’s how Richard D. Hanks, Tip author and president of Mindshare Technologies, differentiates between a ‘satisfied’ and ‘loyal’ customer:
- Focus on price
- Shop around for bargains
- Run to a competitor if you mess up
- Don’t provide critical word-of-mouth advertising
- Buy less and test your competitor’s products and services
- Are easily lured away by competition
- Focus on value
- Reward you with loyal patronage
- Are forgiving of an occasional slip-up
- Shout your praises and recommend you to their friends
- Buy more and sample across product and service lines
- Are resistant to competition
Hank’s advice on customer loyalty: “Since drivers of loyalty are different across industries, I suggest you invest the resources to determine which parts of your product service mix are the key drivers of loyalty for your business.”
How does your company work to improve customer loyalty? What advice do you have for businesses looking to attract new customers while trying to still focus on existing customer loyalty?
We’re all tired of hearing about how bad business is, how bad it’s going to be and how we all wish it could be how it used to, because none of those conversations work to get anything accomplished. My Creative Team agrees:
Don’t just sit there in a funk. The media news may be gloomy but you don’t have to succumb. Be proactive.
They recently put together a new iPaper full of 50 One-A-Day Marketing Vitamins your business can start implementing today.
These are just a few of our favorite marketing ideas:
- Send handwritten notes to your best customers, thanking them for the part they have played in your success.
- Solicit customer feedback. Call a customer at random just to thank him for the business he has given you, and ask how his business is going. Then, listen.
- Gather competitors’ ads and literature to see what they are promoting, and how they are approaching their target market.
- Find an example of where you knocked it out of the park for a client and then write a case study about it.
- Conduct a free seminar for your target audience on your area of expertise.
For more great marketing ideas, take a look for yourself:
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Tagged b2b marketing, business to business lead generation strategy, business to business marketing, customer loyalty, customer value, internet marketing, marketing ideas, new marketing ideas, small business marketing ideas, tips for small business marketing, writing web content tips