Building a business can be a challenge during the best of times. However, professional women can smoothly manage business and even build when crises and surprises happen, as long as their focus is on the customer. The key is to concentrate on the three Rs of your business:
1. Retention: Keeping your existing customers by making sure their experience is phenomenal. I was able to create a fabulous experience for my telephone company customers. I targeted people, who had been disconnected before and were not used to getting great service, and made it fun for them. They line up to pay their bills each month in order to play the promotional games like Spin the Wheel—for money off of their invoices—or enter to win a plasma television.
2. Reactivation: Your easiest customer to sell is one that was a previous client. Reach out to your old customers and win their business again. I send out an “apology letter” to old clients saying, “I am sorry for anything that went wrong. I would like to win your business back—tell me how!” I continue to win back 17.3 percent of former customers.
3. Referral: Focus on getting great referrals. My favorite tool is to run a referral contest and offer free activations to all of my clients’ family and friends. For each referral, my client is rewarded with a gift—$20 off their monthly invoice, a free cell phone charger and, if they refer ten people, they receive a plasma television. The cost of the television is only $800, and I receive over 230 new clients. The best? Only one client actually reached the ten referrals but many referred three to five others and received gifts costing less than $10.
Focusing on the customers you already have is a strong and solid basis on which to stand and grow, especially when readying for a possible recession. Specifically, direct attention and operations toward retention, reactivation, and referral goals to guide your business toward increased profitability and greater success.
By Richelle Shaw
Photo courtesy of w2wlink