Each customer touch point (whether in marketing, sales, or customer service) should be part of the proactive, ongoing conversation you start and carry on with your customer. Ideally, this dialogue will always pick up from where it left off last time (note: this requires that you remember the customer). Each instance of the conversation helps build a more complete picture of the customer's habits, preferences, needs, and desires. In addition, this ongoing dialogue will keep your company top-of-mind for product replacements, renewals, future purchases, or potential referrals.

“Are You Glad to Hear from Me?”

Some companies think only about communicating proactively with their current customers once a year. They might send a holiday card; certain customers might even receive a gift. Think about that: What message are you sending to a customer who only hears from you once a year? How do you feel when the annual holiday card is the only communication you receive from a business (other than bills) all year long? Customer relationships are like any other bond: They require ongoing care and feeding if they are to grow and be sustained long term.

Stay Top-of-Mind—Yet Relevant—with Customers

When my family first moved to our current city, we decided to purchase season passes to a few local attractions we thought we would likely visit more than once. Usually, buying an annual pass sounds like a great idea, but too often it is used only once or twice then languishes ...

Get The Hidden Power of Your Customers: Four Keys to Growing Your Business Through Existing Customers now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.