The powerful ROI of client retention
Sometimes little companies like to play like big companies. We see Crest doing something in their marketing so we mimic what we can. But here’s the thing, Crest is huge. They have the budget and ingrained brand loyalty built over generations. How many of you still use the brands your parents bought? I certainly do.
But one thing that the big huge brands can’t compete with the small companies is customer retention. Crest can send out email marketing and can send coupons. But that’s it. Tiny companies that have less than 200 clients (or better yet less than 50) can have genuine relationships with their clients.
Customer service absolutely makes a difference but when you are small, great customer service is the bare minimum. Think about your local grocery store. You probably have a favorite checkout person. It’s not because they are better at “customer service” than the others. It’s because they ask about your kids or their face warms when they see you.
If you shop local, you probably have lots of places that know your face. The restaurant that knows your order or the bakery that tells you when your seasonal favorite will be returning.
It’s about truly caring about them. When you are tiny, you can modify prices or add services or modify the layout of your store. You can do all those things because you don’t have a board to deal with. And you really care. That’s where tiny companies can blow big companies out of the water.
If you do a lot of traveling you know that prices and offerings change in different regions of the country. Wal-Mart is a great example of the limitations of big companies. No matter where you live in the country, the prices on Wal-Mart.com are the same. So you could live in Manhattan and get a great deal or Dalton, GA, and the online prices are all pretty much higher than your local store.
When you are small company, you have the flexibility to be truly custom for each client. If you are limited to a geographic area like most of our clients this is ideal. Because you are only serving customers in at most a handful of zip codes. So your web copy can speak directly to them. Your prices make sense for them. And you can leverage truly local stuff in your social media feed. Big companies can’t do that.
And even if you are a national service like we are, because we have such a short client list, we can afford to truly invest in daily attention for each of our clients.
When people feel valued, they return loyalty. And that loyalty plays out in different ways:
Great question! And yes, it does. We work with a lot of lawyers and while you might think people only get divorced once or have a personal injury claim once, etc the reality is people can use lawyers throughout their lives. And most lawyers perform more than one type of law. So someone can reasonably use the same lawyer for an adoption, civil case, divorce and maybe some estate planning.
But what if your product or service is very limited? Keeping with the lawyer example, maybe they only perform Family Law? Then you can leverage your relationship for referrals. In both directions. You might not do estate planning but because of your relationship, you can refer current clients to other lawyers. And vice versa, your current clients will tell others how great you were for their divorce.
As your business grows, your growth strategy evolves. When you first start you must spend the money or sweat equity on straight advertising. Nobody knows about you yet so your marketing dollars go to completely cold leads. By year one or two, you will start seeing a growth that wasn’t targeted. This is when referrals come in. Or people you made happy in year one are coming back for more.
If you make the most of your first clients, you might not have to spend any marketing down the road. Of course you might want to keep expanding and there’s nothing wrong with that. BUT, the point is by making your first 10 clients into passionate brand ambassadors, you could very well stop needing to advertise.
And that’s why customer retention is the ultimate growth strategy. Happy clients spend more themselves and then provide exponential growth through referrals.
We love design and everything web marketing. This newsletter is geared towards those that share our passion. It never includes salesy stuff because candidly, our clients hire us to care about this stuff for them.
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