I find it fascinating (and nerve racking) how companies do not have any form of customer database. This is especially true of small retail stores and restaurants. “It is always easier to keep a customer than get a new one,” is an old saying. But even with this maxim, a majority customers do not do a good job by continuously keeping in contact with their customers and the data provided by them.
First, you need to capture just the most basic of information. Make sure that when you collect it, your customer is for your purposes only to keep them aware of upcoming events and that you are not selling it to others. Make sure you get:
- First & Last Name
- Full Address
- Phone Number
- E-mail Address
- E-mail Newsletter
- Sending a regular newsletter (not an advertisement) about something related to your business. For example, if you have a nursery, send a newsletter about great colorful plants or how to use fall leaves in art projects. You could also include a map of when the peak color changes happen in the United States. Ideally, make this a regular (monthly/quarterly) send out.
- Announcement & Specials
- Coupons, specials, and unique events are all great draws for customers. Make the campaign relevant to your customers at that time and always have a “call to action”, an opportunity to buy. These can be infrequent and varied on timing. Just do not overload the email boxes as your customers will trash them immediately, or worse yet, unsubscribe to all your mailings.
How do you keep in contact with with your customers so that they keep coming back to you?
–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your customers, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.