I am the managing partner of EB5 connected network – a national EB-5 visa company with more than 2,000 foreign investors from more than 60 countries.
Attracting new customers to your business usually involves significant costs associated with marketing and sales processes. While many new businesses view customer acquisition as the cornerstone of their growth strategy and spend a large portion of their revenue on related marketing efforts, veteran business leaders often find that placing more emphasis on customer retention is significantly more practical and cost-effective. While marketing your services to new clients doesn’t always guarantee long-term results, I believe building a stronger relationship with your existing clients will provide you with a reliable source of income that can contribute to the stability and growth of your business.
In fact, the cost of acquiring a new customer is typically five times that higher than the cost of retaining an existing customer. In addition, existing customers often spend more money on your services. In addition, a solid customer base has the potential to improve your company’s image and, in turn, attract new customers through positive referrals – in fact, existing customers will do part of the marketing process for you.
By retaining more of your existing customers, you can also avoid the energy-intensive and costly process of setting up your products or services for new customers. Your employees are already used to working with existing customers and know their specific needs. In addition, repeat customers can provide valuable feedback during their relationship with your company.
The following strategies can help you engage with your existing customers and build a long-term business relationship with them. These guidelines are also designed to encourage your existing customers to consider investing in more of your products and services.
1. Communicate regularly and transparently with customers.
If you want to keep your customers, it’s crucial to get a detailed understanding of their needs. Ask them about their long-term goals and ask for feedback regularly. This feedback also provides insight into what your customers appreciate about your services; you can use such information to replicate your success with other clients and build more long-lasting relationships. Keep in mind that customers feel most valued when a team member reaches out to them personally.
Being available to answer customer questions is also crucial. If your customers are in different time zones, make sure your team can communicate with them quickly, ideally within 24 hours or less.
For example, my company’s clients are foreign nationals pursuing the EB-5 investor visa. The EB-5 immigration process requires a significant financial investment, with no guarantees of obtaining a visa, so we do our best to remain transparent and report regularly on their investments and immigration status. By communicating regularly with your customers, you can better understand their goals and adjust your approach to provide the best services possible.
2. Make sure customers are aware of the full range of products and services you offer.
Your existing customers may not be aware of additional products or services your company offers. Again, good communication is key to helping your customers see how your other services can benefit them. For example, a project management software developer may offer their customers additional software in addition to their main product. This is a cost effective and easy way increase revenue through existing customers. And if you notice a recurring need for a particular product or service among your customers, consider adding it to your portfolio.
Often I have found that clients can benefit from more than one of your services.
3. Offer best-in-class products or services.
To retain existing customers, you need to be aware of what your competitors are offering and make sure your services are the best. What services or products do you offer that are unique in your industry? Regularly remind customers how your services benefit them and highlight the points that make you stand out.
Building trust with your customers is also crucial; make sure you keep all promises and deadlines. And if your business is not meeting a customer’s expectations, take responsibility, identify the problem clearly and quickly, and explain what steps you will take to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Review negative feedback carefully.
4. Use customer testimonials and reviews to your advantage.
When it comes to feedback, customer testimonials and reviews can go a long way toward boosting your business’s credibility and convincing existing customers to continue working with you — even getting them to purchase additional products or services. Positive testimonials and reviews often emphasize why your products or services are unique and superior to what the competition has to offer; if your existing clients see that many other clients are satisfied with your services, it can persuade them to continue working with you instead of competitors.
Make testimonials easily available to your customers on your website, marketing communications or social media.
A loyal customer base will provide your business with a reliable source of income. Indeed, existing customers are the foundation of a successful business, so investing in regular, quality communication with customers, educating them about your portfolio of products or services and meeting their expectations is essential in grow your business. As your happy customers spread the word about your business, your brand can develop a strong image with the public attract new customers.