The top 3 reasons that your existing customers are your best source of sales, revenue and growth
The number one rule of marketing is that your existing customers are your biggest asset. But what does that really mean? Why are your customers so valuable?
Propensity to buy
Your customers have purchased from you because of your reputation, location and expertise. Once a customer has established a preference for a business, they are more than 3 times as likely to return. A study by InfoQuest found that a ‘totally satisfied customer’ generates 14 times more revenue than a ‘somewhat dissatisfied customer’.
That is, as long as you are actively rewarding customer loyalty…
Now, I’ve never been a big fan of giving customers special discounts. I’m referring to giving your customers an emotional payoff of doing business with you. Reward your customers’ loyalty by sending them information that they care about via regular email communications, even when you are not running a sale! Send tips on shooting and hunting, the latest on firearms and range safety, how to properly clean or store their firearms, and so on.
You are the expert. Offer that expertise freely and encourage your customers to do the same…
2. References and word-of-mouth advertising
If we have learned one thing from measuring the effects of social media, it is that people are more likely to follow the recommendations of someone who IS SIMILAR TO THEM. That means that your existing customers are also your best source of word-of-mouth advertising.
Looking for a way to generate word-of-mouth AND create customer loyalty? Ask your customers to write a recommendation on Yelp, or on your social media channels. Include their testimonials on your website or include them in your email communications. Make them “famous” by including their picture and bio.
Your prospects want proof that your gun store is worth the visit rather than going to a big box store. Your customers know why you are great, make it easy for them to speak for you.
As long as you are also open to listening to customer gripes…
3. Alert you to problems and opportunities
Make it easy for customers to let you know when they are satisfied and when not satisfied and listen to them! If a customer is happy, they will tell 2 people. But if they are unhappy, they will tell 20.
Empower your employees to do what it takes to make your customer happy. Even if you make a mistake, you can still satisfy your customer by admitting it and working to find a solution.
Your customers can also be a wealth of information about shifts in the market. Rather than relying 100% on your manufacturers, do your own market research: are you seeing more women buying handguns, children getting interested in archery? Ask your customers what they want, why they like shopping with you. You may learn what types of new merchandise they would like to see in your store, or find out what differentiates you from your competition.