IF YOU RUN an established business, then you know how many customers you have, but do you know if they are happy?
It takes about 5 to 10 times the amount of work to bring in a new customer as it does to retain a current customer. When you know this, do you spend so much time and attention focusing only on attracting new business? You need to be giving at least this much focus on satisfying your current customers. Satisfied customers are the best way to market your business, because they are the ones that become your word-of-mouth army—they are your customer evangelists.93
Yet we ignore them. Commercials, programs, and plans are almost all directed toward incentives for new customers. There are famous stories out there of people who ignore current customers. We make it hard for them to return things. We make them wait on phones for 20 minutes, ensuring them that their business is important to us, so please stay on just a little longer, while we focus on the new customer on the other line. We put out the red carpet for new sales and drag our feet to provide good service to the ones we already have.
Remember the hierarchy of buying—who was at the top? A current satisfied customer. This is where you are at your highest level of trust and the strongest point of your relationship. Sadly, some companies let their customers fall off the top of the mountain.
I have a morning ritual that I know many of you share. Coffee around here is a bit like a religion. You choose ...