What message is sent to the customer that only hears from a company once per year? Put another way, what do you think about those holiday cards that are the only communication you receive all year (other than bills)? Customer relationships require ongoing care and feeding in order to be maintained or to grow. The same can be said for mentoring junior staff, employee reviews, and many other things. They should not be once per year events but a continual process.
Here are a few tips for creating a customer contact plan for existing customers.
- Be sure to understand your customers’ preferences. How do they want to be communicated with? Email? Print? Phone? Facebook? Utilize their preferred method of interaction; it is probably different for different customers.
- Understand what business your customers are doing with your company. Have they been customers for a long time? Is this their first 30 days of doing business with you? Have they just referred new business to you? Communications should be adjusted accordingly and should acknowledge that level of business. Most customers want to know you see them as more than just a number/name in an email list.
- Intersperse up-sell and cross-sell communications with “just because” communications. At least quarterly, call or contact customers to see how things are going and check in on their satisfaction levels. Customers are usually happy that you want to know how they are doing.
Go ahead and send out those holiday greetings. As you put together the finishing touches on your plans for this upcoming year, however, make sure you are creating a plan for how you want to contact your customers throughout the months that follow.