Having a great product and great customer service are the foundation for customer retention. And positive word of mouth is by far the best marketing tool in your arsenal. But you can't control when that happens, so you need a marketing plan to keep the customers you want. Don't just hope your customers love you—be proactive. Put your plan in writing and make it stick. Follow through and take action. Use direct mail, e-mail, newsletters and other marketing tools to make your best customers feel special.
Treat your best customers with respect and they'll reward you with loyalty beyond your wildest dreams. Send them targeted messages. Give them special incentives. Keep in mind that it's easier to cultivate your existing customer relationships than to begin new ones. Not to mention less expensive.
It costs about five times as much to get a new customer as it does to keep a current customer. That's why it pays to pay attention to your best customers. In the end, they'll buy more, stick with you longer, and tell their friends how great it is doing business with your company. Isn't that what we all want?
—Lisa Bell, president and chief creative officer, Tivoli Partners
and president, Charlotte Direct Marketing Association