Business Management Truth: Grow Your business with retained customers





Value the old as well as the new!



It should be the goal of any small business or SME to obtain new customers and retain old customers. This is a fundamental approach for business strategy and long-term sustainability. A solid foundation is built from current customers. The continuous addition of new customers then strengthens and enlarges the initial foundation.





*Content provided in collaboration with AASBC

In a competitive market environment, a certain number of customers will always leave for various reasons:


• New competition
• Lower pricing or higher quality found elsewhere
• Dissatisfaction for one reason or another
• No longer needing product or service
• Needing new products or services not offered


The Customer Cycle


Therefore, there is a never-ending cycle of:


• Prospecting
• Obtaining customers
• Retaining customers
• Losing customers
• Prospecting
• Obtaining customers
• Retaining customers
• Losing customers
• Prospecting.......and the cycle continues!


Understanding this cycle and its implications are important knowledge for any small business or SME owner.


• Overall prospecting and marketing is time-consuming and expensive.
• Converting prospects to customers can take determination and follow-up.
• Retaining customers is less costly and less time-consuming.
• Losing customers is quite easy.


Every small business owner should understand the above four possible customer scenarios. The reality is that retaining customers is the very best option when given a choice. Owners do have a choice!


Make Customers Number One Priority


Businesses can treat customers with the importance they deserve. Remember, no customers…no business. Customers need to receive benefits and solutions to problems. They want to feel valued, obtain value for the money spent, and satisfied with purchases made (whatever that might be). Customers will then repeat the buying experience from the same business when their next need arises. This is how customers are retained for the long-term.


Alternately, businesses can treat customers poorly only to see them leave and never return not to mention negative comments that are so easy to share in today’s world of social media and online reviews. When a culture prevails in which the customer is not “first,” a constant upward battle to secure new customers begins to emerge. In a competitive marketplace and possibly a tight economy, obtaining new customers is not an easy task.


Seek Real Growth


For a small business or SME to remain viable and successful, real growth (not inflationary growth) is necessary. This means that every customer is important and worth retaining. Real growth is achieved when loyal customers are retained and new customers are continuously added to the loyal customer base.


It’s the owner’s choice:


• Prospect for customers, obtain customers, retain customers, lose customers, and prospect again


or


• Prospect for customers, obtain customers, retain customers, and GROW!






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