I took a few weeks off blogging as I helped ease my daughters out of summer and back to school. What’s poignantly clear when you have a freshman in high school and a 7th grader is how ho-hum it is to be in the middle.
The freshman celebrated 8th grade promotion a mere three months ago to much hoopla and excitement and then was greeted to high school with equal fanfare. The 7th grader is in the middle of middle school. There was no excitement for this elevation to a new grade, no celebration, no orientation, no nothing! It’s just another year.
Some people find comfort in anonymity, but it’s nice to be remembered, to be thought of, to be acknowledged, to be made to feel important. Such is the case for loyal customers. There’s a lot of effort put forth to attract prospects and to convert them to clients and when there’s an inkling they will walk out the door, there are all sorts of incentives to stay. Where’s the appreciation?
Those loyal customers are the important ones. They need to be catered to and appreciated. Have you ever gotten a sales call from a service you already use, offering you a better deal than you have if you’re a new subscriber? It’s insulting, isn’t it? First off, why don’t they have you on a list of existing customers? Secondly, why aren’t they offering existing customers the same deal? If they can offer a better price, why do they only offer it to newbies? I had a friend who used to cancel his newspaper subscription to get the deal for new subscribers that was greatly discounted and usually also offered a free gift. It’s silly to make your loyal customers game the system to get a better price.
Treat the middle, your loyal and repeat customers, with respect. Their place in your business is twofold and they perform the two most important roles for keeping you successful: repeat and referrals. Your loyal customers are your repeat customers and better yet, if they are happy with you, they refer you. You need both of those things so reward your middle.
How happy are you when your favorite airline starts changing its Frequent Flyer program? Do you feel betrayed? Like your loyalty was not appreciated, even shunned?