Last month most of you probably sent your customers holiday card, or e-cards, or small gifts, or gift certificates, or an assortment of other “thank you” gifts. Or maybe your management team personally called each customer, or you had your call center contact them if you’re a larger company.
That’s fantastic, and I’m sure we don’t need to reiterate how important it is to thank your customers and acknowledge how important they are to your business. After all, when it comes to word-of-mouth marketing and evangelizing your products and services, your customers are the most important marketers you have, and thanking them throughout the year, and not just during the holidays, is vital. (Oh, and it helps if you provide solid products and/or services, too.)
But are you doing enough? Upsell opportunities to current “satisfied” customers can be very lucrative to your bottom line with a much high ROI than acquiring new customers.
Here are a few tips to enhance your customer marketing:
- Send Customers Your Press Releases – Add your customers to your press release distributions, particularly those that discuss newsworthy industry trends and those that discuss new products/services/enhancements (in fact, include your key prospects too). You might already keep them up to date with monthly newsletters or other marketing vehicles, so only send them key releases with personalized messages (you’re keeping them in the know).
- Personalized Regular Contact – You and your team should always personally contact your customers, whether it be via phone or email (and we recommend both), on a regular basis – preferably monthly or quarterly. “Checking in” will allow you to be proactive with your customers, solidify relationships, notify them of upcoming products/services/enhancements, receive valuable feedback and suggestions, and help you extinguish fires before they get out of control.
- Know Your Competition – Your competitors will be pitching your customers regularly and aggressively, so you must know what your competitors sell, how your products/services are different, and why you’re better. Your customers will ask you tough questions sometimes about your competitions’ products/services, and if you can’t answer those questions sufficiently, you’re not going to be able to upsell, much less keep those customers from jumping ship.
- Case Studies and Success Stories – Some marketing experts suggest that case studies are time-consuming and costly and don’t have near the return they used to have. But you can still generate credibility in the marketplace referencing customer success stories. Create brief one-page “testimonials” that quickly highlight the customer’s pain, the solution (your products/services), and the return for the customer. Don’t spend a lot of time on content development or design – just cut to the chase, send out releases about them, and post them on your website. Your customers will the exposure too!
- Develop Informative Webinars – You’re probably familiar with putting on Webinars for prospects as lead-generation activities, but what not do the same for your customers? The HR and benefits space is content and “in-the-know” hungry, and if you keep your customers abreast of what’s happening in their space with periodic Webinars, you’ll also be able to tie-in other products and services for the upsell.
- Establish Customer User Group Meetings – Whether they are regional or national, establish annual or multiple user group meetings throughout the year. These are great opportunities for you to highlight new products/services/enhancements, attract media attention for your company and your customers (in fact, invite the media), and you’ll creating a sense of community amongst your customers (there may also be partnership opportunities to discuss, etc.). If you can’t afford onsite user group meetings, go virtual with web-based user conferences.
- Visit Your Customers Onsite – This may be cost-prohibitive for smaller firms, but if you have the bulk of your customers in specific regional locations, try to schedule onsite face-to-face visits with key (or all) customers at least once or twice a year. This is a great way to further solidify your customer relationships and upsell opportunities. You could set up meetings with your key customers at conferences and expos.