It irks me when I get offered new customer discounts - as an existing customer. About once every few months I see the promotional wrapper on my local paper offering an exclusive discount for New Subscribers Only. Hello? I mean isn't it rather obvious you can't sign up a new customer at an existing customer's address?
And what about me, the loyal subscriber? Someone who has put up with missed deliveries, papers thrown where even the dog can retrieve them and ones sacrificed to the sprinkler gods. Where's my deal?
I have a theory of how to spot a company that gives crappy service and looses existing customers at alarming rates. Just look for the companies giving discounts with the "offer applies only to new customers" lingo.The deeper the discount, the worse their customer service - and rate of retention.
I get it that newspapers, cable companies and movie rentals, etc., all want new customers. Generating new business is a must. But not at the expense of pissing off your loyal, existing customers. Give them great deals too.
Like my hair stylist I've been going to for over a year now. The rate card posted for a haircut at her station is significantly higher than what she charges me. Makes me feel like my business is appreciated. Makes it easy for me to keep coming back. What's the value of retaining your customers?
- They come back
- They spend more money
- They tell others to do business with you
My gardner hasn't increased his price since he started servicing our yard 5 years ago. He sometimes misses a week. I don't care. He replaces busted sprinklers without being asked. Seems like a special deal to me. He keeps this up and I'll never fire him. I pay him extra from time to time. I tell others about him. He gets more new business. We have a good thing going.
Sure, offer incentives for new business. But don't forget to give your customers your best deals too.
"Companies need to flip-flop the way they do business. Give your best deals to existing customers." David Meerman Scott and Brian Halligan, Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead
What might this mean to how you do business?