One of the most important keys to having a successful business is keeping in touch with your customers. I strongly believe that many businesses that fail, fail to do this. I myself have failed to do this in the past and I shudder to think about the revenue I’ve lost.
First let’s talk about why it’s so important to keep in touch with customers. You can’t assume that your customers will remember who you are. Let’s use a screen printing business as an example. We’ll use a landscaping company as our example client. They have a crew of workers they want to outfit with shirts that have their name and contact info on them. They order 48 shirts from you. You do the job, receive payment and thank them. Four to six months later they need another batch of shirts but they can’t find your info. They think they found you on Craigslist so they go there to try to find you. There’s a lot of screen printers on there so rather than look at each ad trying to find you, they decide just to contact the first one that comes up. They get the sale for the 2nd batch and you lose out. How could this be prevented? That’s right, by keeping in touch with them. Now let’s be clear here, I don’t mean you should constantly spam them with emails every week asking of they need anything. That’s a surefire way to lose them as a customer.
Now let’s discuss methods to keep in touch.
Newsletter – A newsletter is a great way to keep in touch with customers. I recommend sending out a newsletter once per month. In it you can include any specials you are having, events you might be attending/sponsoring and anything new and newsworthy in your business. Try to keep it short and sweet though. If it’s too long they are not likely to read it.
Thank You Cards – Use these less frequently. I would recommend once per quarter at the most. This is just to say thank you for your business, you aren’t trying to sell them anything here. I like SendOutCards.com for thank you cards.
Direct Mail – Another way to keep in touch is by sending a brochure or catalog. Again, don’t spam them with these but this is another good way to let your customers know about a special sale.
Promotional Items – Everybody likes a free gift. Just make it something useful. It should especially be something they will use when you want them thinking about you. For example a pizza shop might want to give their customers a magnet for the refrigerator and a pizza cutter with their contact info printed on it. In this example you want them thinking about you when they are hungry. A computer repair company might want to send out some sort of desk calendar or maybe even a mouse pad. These are great because it keeps your name and contact info in front of them every day, so it’s there when they need you.
Hopefully this has given you some ideas on ways to keep in touch with your customers. Ideally you should use more than one, or even all of the methods listed but just make sure you keep in touch!