Value the old as well as the new!
During our business consulting engagements with clients, the topic of revenue growth is expectantly a point of discussion. Any business manager worth his/her salt is thinking about growth today and tomorrow. At times, these very capable folks miss the opportunity right in front of them...existing customers.
It should be the goal of any business to obtain new customers and retain old customers. This is a fundamental approach for business strategy and long-term sustainability. A solid foundation is built from current customers. The continuous addition of new customers then strengthens and enlarges the initial foundation.
In a competitive market environment, a certain number of customers will always leave for various reasons:
• New competition • Lower pricing or higher quality found elsewhere • Dissatisfaction for one reason or another • No longer needing product or service • Needing new products or services not offered
Therefore, there is a never-ending cycle of:
• Prospecting • Obtaining customers • Retaining customers • Losing customers • Prospecting • Obtaining customers • Retaining customers • Losing customers • Prospecting.......and the cycle continues!
Understanding this cycle and its implications are important knowledge for any small business or SME owner.
• Overall prospecting and marketing is time-consuming and expensive. • Converting prospects to customers can take determination and follow-up. • Retaining customers is less costly and less time-consuming. • Losing customers is quite easy.
Every small business owner should understand the above four possible customer scenarios. The reality is that retaining customers is the very best option when given a choice. Owners do have a choice!
Make Customers Number One Priority
Businesses can treat customers with the importance they deserve. Remember, no customers…no business. Customers need to receive benefits and solutions to problems. They want to feel valued, obtain value for the money spent, and satisfied with purchases made (whatever that might be). Customers will then repeat the buying experience from the same business when their next need arises. This is how customers are retained for the long-term.
Alternately, businesses can treat customers poorly only to see them leave and never return not to mention negative comments that are so easy to share in today’s world of social media and online reviews. When a culture prevails in which the customer is not “first,” a constant upward battle to secure new customers begins to emerge. In a competitive marketplace and possibly a tight economy, obtaining new customers is not an easy task.
Seek Real Growth
For a small business or SME to remain viable and successful, real growth (not inflationary growth) is necessary. This means that every customer is important and worth retaining. Real growth is achieved when loyal customers are retained and new customers are continuously added to the loyal customer base.
It’s the owner’s choice:
• Prospect for customers, obtain customers, retain customers, lose customers, and prospect again
• Prospect for customers, obtain customers, retain customers, and GROW!
OnTarget Strategy provides onsite business management and business strategy consultant services to organizations in Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and the Colorado region. We also partner with clients across the United States and Canada.