As a small business, building a good relationship with your previous or existing customers is really important. Not only are they likely to provide you with repeat business, but they may also refer you and write raving online reviews about you.
But how do you stay in touch with past and existing customers without being too pushy? You don’t want to be annoying or overly salesy and put people off.
Instead, you want to create genuine and meaningful relationships with your clients or customers. To do this, make sure you’re always providing something helpful and relevant – and be friendly too, of course! Here are some ways to go about it…
1. Write a regular newsletter
Writing an email newsletter is one of the easiest ways to stay in touch with existing customers. Make sure to include lots of useful information such as the latest news, special offers for your customers and expert tips that are exclusive to the newsletter.
This is a quick and easy way to keep in touch as you can contact hundreds of people at the same time. Just make sure you have your customer’s permission to add them to the newsletter (especially since GDPR). Nobody likes being added to a mailing list out of the blue!
For more tips on streamlining your email strategy, check out my alternative guide to email marketing for small businesses!
2. Invite them to events and workshops
If you’re running an event or workshop, invite your previous and current clients along. This is a great opportunity to meet with your clients face-to-face for a chat, as well as provide them with helpful information or skills.
Even if you’re not running an event yourself, keep an eye out for any other relevant workshops you could invite them to. They will really appreciate the personalised service from you.
Read more about how to make your local business event a success.
3. Start a referral programme
Everyone loves getting a freebie or a bonus, so why not set up a referral or loyalty programme to reward your existing clients? There are lots of options for rewards, whether you’re a service or product-based business, for example:
- £50 cash bonus for every new client they refer
- 10% off their next monthly bill for every new client they refer
- 1 free product for every 9 orders they place
If a client has enjoyed working with you, the loyalty rewards will act as an added incentive for them to recommend you. Make sure to choose the rewards carefully so they fit in with your business and are also helpful for your customers.
4. Stay in touch on special occasions
Congratulate your customers on their birthday or anniversary, or wish them well at Christmas or New Year. This could be through your newsletter, a personalised email, a social media message or a good old-fashioned card.
This is a great way to build a relationship with your customers, so they’ll think of you if they need additional services or products in the future.
Struggling to find a way to celebrate Christmas with your customers? Here are some of my top tips for your festive marketing.
5. Exclusive special offers
Another way to keep in touch with current or previous clients is to offer them some exclusive deals. If they know they’re going to get great special offers from you (which they can’t get elsewhere) they’re likely to stick around.
This could be an exclusive special offer that’s only available for them or early bird access to a deal which is later made public.
It could also include priority access to new or limited edition products. These perks are a great way to make your customers feel important and they’ll appreciate the thought!
6. Talk on social media
As the name suggests, social media is a great way to be sociable and keep in touch with your customers. Engage in conversations with them and provide advice and help where you can.
Share their content, offer support and be friendly. Via social media, you can also keep them up to date with your latest services or offers without being too salesy.
You can make it fun by making use of things like polls, question stickers, and live streaming. Creating an interactive space, where customers know they can engage with you, will help build a sense of community. This is something that is sure to keep them coming back.
Looking to add a bit more personality to your social media? Check out my top tips here!
7. Write a personal email
We explored newsletters earlier in this list, but there’s another handy way to use email to keep in touch, Every few months, you might want to drop your previous client a personalised email to catch up. Find out how their business is doing, what they’ve been up to and any problems they might need advice on.
It’s good to include a link to a helpful blog post, article or event they might be interested in. That way, your email is both friendly and useful without pushing your own services. But the client will appreciate the advice and maybe hire you again.
To read more about this topic, have a look at these:
How to Get Repeat Business From Existing Customers
How to Get Referrals for Your Small Business
7 Steps to Improve Your Customer Experience
How to Market Your Small Business With Customer Reviews