The lifetime value of a customer is a metric that every business owner should place at the top of their list. It details the value of this customer over the entire time they are your customers.
To put it into perspective:
· Someone may purchase $1,000 in products once
· Someone else may purchase $100 in products monthly… for years
It’s these types of customers that you truly want for your business. The individuals also happen to be the ones that frequently refer you to others making them doubly valuable. Retaining them can be somewhat difficult with all the new competition that comes to the industry. However, there are ways to keep them a part of your customer base.
Here are some different, thoughtful ways to say thanks to your customers (so they remain clients):
1. Give ‘Em a Call
Just because your business operates predominantly online doesn’t mean it needs to stick to email, live chat, and social media as its main forms of communication.
It’s easy to misread a text, email, or status because it often feels impersonal. Hearing a voice allows you to pick up on all the minutia which lends itself to empathy. When the client hears that you are truly sincere they too become emotional about the experience making it easier for them to bond and stick with your company in the long run.
2. Include an Exclusive Discount
The long-term customers are your star players and should be treated so because they are the ones that have been with you through the thick and thin.
What better way to keep them as a client than to offer them an exclusive discount that is available to no other individual from your customer list?
The exclusivity of the discount gives them the sense they are really part of the experience/business and not just another customer. In a lot of ways they become friends and brand ambassadors than just another number in your sales log.
3. Send them a Sincere Card
When’s the last time you receive a thank you note, hand written, by people from Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, or the other big tech companies? I’ll go out on a limb and say never because they are way beyond that point of personalization unless you filled in the right boxes when you signed up for a service or purchased a product.
What really makes an impact? Personalized messages.
Personalized messages don’t even need to be hand-written. A simple thank you card or post card is often enough because so few others are doing it.
I know this because I’ve sent out hundreds of personalized cards (big thanks to Print Pelican for the service) which were all well received. In the end I received a ton of referrals for my business through these long-term customers and they were delivered at a time when they were ready to make the next purchase (which helps when they are considering a competitor).
4. Let Them Earn
Modern Ecommerce platforms have affiliate programs built in (at least the good ones).
For those that don’t know: An affiliate program allows a person to sell your products and earn a commission.
Now consider a customer that has been with you for many years. Besides the value and savings you’ve provided they are still a paying customer. With an affiliate program you can give that individual an ability to make money from a product/service they’re already vocal about!
The dedicated customer signs up for your affiliate program, they begin sharing their affiliate link, they send you qualified leads/sales, and they earn money; it creates the perfect way to retain individuals because they’re earning money at the same time as being a customer.
You can do this without an affiliate program, too, with enough tracking. Giving these long-term customers a kickback for referrals will certainly keep them on board.