Did you know that it costs 5 times as much to attract a new customer as it does to keep an existing customer? It’s no wonder customer retention is so important to businesses large and small!
Whether you're running a party kit as part of a business or for a local fundraiser, it's helpful to create a local community of champions to help you spread the word that reusables are best.
In this article, marketing consultant Lucy Mowatt gives some simple tips to help maximise the value of your existing customer relationships in order to encourage the growth of your community.
1. Stay in touch
One of the easiest ways to maintain relationships with existing customers is regular communication. A simple email once a week or once a month to your existing customers keeps you front of mind, so they come straight to you when planning their next party.
It doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to do either. You could simply send an email from your mailbox and BCC all of your customers (data protection is vital). Keep it personal, sharing your latest news or offers to encourage replies and comments.
If you have the time, consider using a tool like Mailchimp. Its email marketing software is free to use if you have fewer than 2000 contacts and allows you to create attractive customer newsletters featuring news, offers and updates.
2. Always follow-up
After every hire, follow up with a quick email or call asking for your customers’ feedback. It may seem like a hassle, but there are three key benefits to making the effort.
You create an opportunity for additional engagement, cementing their experience.
You make your customers feel valued because you’re inviting their comments.
You have the opportunity to learn from their experiences and improve your business.
And, if nothing else, it’s great customer service!
3. Ask for testimonials
We all read reviews before we buy anything these days. And if we have a review from someone we know personally, that’s even more persuasive. So harness the power of ‘social proof’ with testimonials or reviews.
After an event, ask your customers to put together a few words about their experiences. You can share these on your website and social media to show potential customers what it’s like to work with you.
4. Ask for referrals
I briefly touched on this in the Facebook Live event for network members during January 2021, but it’s one of the most powerful ways to harness your existing customer base to raise brand awareness.
Again, keep it simple to start off with. Simply ask customers to share your service with their friends and contacts. If you wanted to, you could incentivise the referrals by offering a discount on their next order when they introduce a new customer.
Just ask new customers where they heard about you and make a note of the names that come back. As long as you know where the referral came from, there’s no need for voucher codes or anything complicated.
Remember: Only apply the discount once the new contact has paid for their party kit to ensure it’s a legitimate enquiry.
5. Launch a simple loyalty scheme
If you want to encourage repeat business, offer some incentives.
We’ve all had those loyalty cards from local coffee shops – get 10 stamps and get a free coffee – and there’s no reason you can’t launch something similar.
You can easily create physical loyalty cards using a service like moo.com, or simply keep a spreadsheet on your computer noting down how many parties each customer has booked. Once they reach the threshold, provide the discount or free gift.
Be sure to regularly promote the scheme via your social media channels and email marketing so customers don’t forget to take advantage of the offer.
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