Existing customers may sound like black bread to some hardcore marketers. After an unexciting customer species. Like yesterday’s news. After all, isn’t the hunt for new customers much more exciting and profitable?
At least the latter can be seriously doubted. Because the effort to get an existing customer back to a purchase or a booking with good support is usually significantly less than winning a new customer. If an existing customer has already decided on your company, you will be able to convince them much more easily of your own offer – even without a voucher, discounts or other special offers.
So if you have a solid base of existing customers, you can count yourself lucky. But what exactly does existing customer care or existing customer marketing actually mean? How can these terms, which are easy to say, be brought to life in day-to-day business?
In this article, in addition to the other advantages of existing customers, you will learn what you can actually do to generate more sales with your existing customers.
Advantages of existing customers over new customers
New customers cost money, existing customers bring money
In order to inspire new customers for your product or service, you first have to attract their attention in marketing – for example through advertising, a voucher, special offers, of course a really good website or low prices. All of this involves a lot of effort and reduces your profit.
In contrast, there are existing customers with a fraction of this effort. Because they already know your company and do not have to be familiarized with your offer through advertising.
Buying an existing customer is therefore much more profitable. Long-term good support also involves a certain amount of effort, but this is usually well below the effort required to acquire new customers .
Existing customers bring long-term sales growth
The acquisition of new customers is perhaps interesting if you want to squeeze a few market shares from the competition. However, this only brings short-term success. Anyone striving for planned sales growth should rely at least as much on existing customers.
After all, a satisfied customer develops a real relationship with the company over time and prefers to spend his money there rather than experimenting with bargains. The longer a customer stays with you, the greater their trust in you and the more or rather they spend their money with you.
Existing customers do not haggle over every euro
The worst discount and inheritance battles often lead to new customers and thus rob the sales staff of time and nerves. Existing customers, on the other hand, are familiar with the prices, they know what service they get for it and are therefore willing to pay for it.
But: Your existing customers are also happy about a voucher or when they know that you won’t be charging for every service, no matter how small.
Existing customers save personnel costs
In the first point I already mentioned that you first have to convince new customers of your offer. This can mean that your sales staff have to deal with a potential customer for longer and more than once – which is of course perfectly okay.
Existing customers, however, know your portfolio and need fewer explanations before they order from you. The longer you know each other, the more efficient the communication and collaboration becomes. In the long term, you will save enormous amounts of money for your personnel and workload for you.
Generate more sales with existing customers
Agree on a fixed order volume
If you make an agreement with your customers in which you implement a fixed amount of orders every month, work hours or deliver products, both sides can benefit. On the one hand, your customer knows exactly to what extent they can plan with you. On the other hand, thanks to the fixed payment, you know what you earn per month and you can also manage your time better.
If you want to agree on fixed order volumes with your customers, you should assume a long-term cooperation from the outset and find out how you can help a customer every month. This may give you the opportunity to offer additional services. You shouldn’t just be about the money, but because you have a sincere interest in the success of your customer.
The ability to ask questions is one of the most effective sales tools. Because as banal as it sounds, a question can help you find out what the customer really wants and build a relationship with them. The more questions you ask, the sooner you will find out whether you can offer other projects and what kind of projects they should be.
For example, if you have been commissioned to rewrite the text for a website , you can ask your customer why they want the new page. For example, if his answer is because he wants to get more conversions, you can react again. For example, you can give him tips and position yourself as a kind of advisor or offer additional texts that are related to his answer.
Customers love it when you deliver more than agreed. Because it gives them more than what they pay for.
It doesn’t have to be anything big, just something that adds value to your customer. As a copywriter, for example, you can give several headlines to choose from. For a designer, it is a good idea to include several color options for a design. Customers don’t expect this kind of extra goodies, but they will happily and positively remember them and are more likely to order again in the future.
Be uncomplicated to work with
Many customers have their very own horror stories from working with other companies, freelancers or other providers. Be it because they did not deliver on time or not at all, were unfriendly or the quality was not right in the end – the reasons are diverse, but the bottom line is that they all have one thing in common: The cooperation was not pleasant.
In order for the cooperation with you to be pleasant and successful, you should be exactly the opposite, that is, uncomplicated and reliable. Because your customers also have to keep their business running and need reliable partners. Those who can count on you will also trust you more and not look elsewhere.
The openness to criticism and feedback is also an important success factor for the management of your existing customers. If you fend off any criticism, he’ll soon get tired of it. At the same time, customer feedback is an important input for your own learning curve so that you can do better next time.
Create follow-up messages for existing customers
Many freelancers and companies do a project and think that existing customers will get in touch if they want more. But maybe he doesn’t have the time or he forgets.
As soon as a project is finished, you should therefore arrange follow-up calls or emails and contact your existing customers within a week. This is the only way to find out whether they are satisfied with your work and to show that the success of the project and not just your income is important to you.
In order to stay in the memory of your customers, you should also contact them every month, for example in the form of a newsletter. In addition, it can be worthwhile to send your customers relevant articles and thereby provide them with added value. With messages like this, you should definitely include a call-to-action to show that you can be reached for future work.
A regular blog writing is an excellent way to customers to support an ongoing basis. With useful content, you not only give your customers valuable tips, but also underpin your expert status. This in turn gives you more trust, which can certainly lead to new orders.
You should pay special attention to the comment area on your blog. If your customers address a certain problem, you can in turn use this as a basis for a new article and thus help other customers or readers who may have the same problem in one go.
If you are aiming for successful, long-term sales growth, you should focus on the care and good support of your existing customers. It also means effort – but significantly less than acquiring new customers.
With relatively simple measures, you can strengthen the relationship with your existing customers and thus benefit from long-term cooperation.
Do you have any other methods of caring for your existing customers? Then leave a comment under this post. I’m looking forward to it!