Remember that great customer who bought your product six months ago? Or the customer who gave you tons of referrals last year? If you’re like most customer success managers, then you may have many existing customers like these whom you’ve lost touch with over the past several months -- or even years.
Don't make the mistake of overlooking one of your most valuable assets: existing customers. But reconnecting with them after months have gone by isn’t always easy. It can feel awkward and uncomfortable, which is why so many people fail to re-engage them.
If you can learn to actively re-engage your existing customers on a regular basis, you’ll stand out from the competition -- and find way more business in the process. Implement these eight simple tricks to re-engage your existing customers and drastically improve your retention rates this year.
How to Re-Engage Your Customers for More Business
1) Send them a valuable note in the mail.
Your customers are probably inundated with phone calls and emails all day long. That’s why an old-fashioned letter in the mail packs a big punch when it comes to re-engaging them. Write each of your existing customers a short note, accompanied by something valuable: an article they’d be interested in, a newsletter about their industry, or some other item that conveys useful knowledge.
Be sure to handwrite the address on the envelope and the note inside to make it as personal as possible. This simple act will strengthen your relationships and give customers a reason to think about you in a positive way.
2) Reach out with a “happy birthday.”
Spend some time researching your customers on Google and Facebook to find out their birthdays (without being too creepy). Enter each date in your calendar or CRM so you’ll automatically be reminded every year when their birthdays roll around. It’s never been easier to discover someone’s birthday, but the vast majority of salespeople and customer service reps don’t say “happy birthday” to their customers. Stand out from the crowd by sending them a birthday email -- or, better yet, send them a physical birthday card in the mail every year.
3) Ask for introductions to new customers.
This trick has two powerful benefits for you: You’ll reconnect with existing customers while simultaneously getting leads for new business. Give your customers a call and ask if they’d be willing to introduce you to some people in their world who might benefit from your product or service. A conversation like this is a powerful way to re-engage customers you haven’t spoken to in a while and remind them of the benefits of working with you. If you’re persistent with this approach, you’ll also generate new leads.
4) Regularly request customer feedback.
To make your customers feel valued, understood, and important, ask them for feedback. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not regularly requesting customer feedback -- on everything from their products and services to the current state of the industry. Your customers will love being asked for their opinions, and you’ll also learn a great deal from their responses. Create a scheduled plan for sending emails and surveys to request feedback from your existing customer base every few months.
5) Host a customer event twice a year.
Everyone loves being invited to exclusive events, and your existing customers are no exception. Hosting events is a powerful way to compel your existing customers to reconnect with you face-to-face. Rent out a room at a local hotel or restaurant and plan to share some exciting new industry insights. If you host a private event like this twice a year, you’ll ensure you don’t lose touch with your customers for more than six months at a time.
6) Invite them out for a bite to eat.
Treat your existing customers to breakfast or lunch. This vastly underutilized strategy is an easy way to strengthen your bond with them. Meet your customers near where they work during the week, and use a quick meal as an opportunity to find out what’s new in their world and remain top-of-mind.
7) Call them with a clear purpose.
When you pick up the phone to re-engage your existing customers, make sure you have a reason to do so. Just saying things like“hi” or “I’m checking in to see what’s going on” is a surefire way to annoy your customers and make them start screening your calls. Instead, have a clear purpose in mind when you call. Maybe you want to tell them about your company’s newest offer, or let them know about a special deal that’s going on this week. Whatever it is, it must be valuable enough to warrant a phone call during their busy day.
8) Send them your favorite business book.
What’s the best business book you’ve read in recent years? It’s time to put together packages for your existing customers. Include a personalized, handwritten note to each, explaining why you loved the book and think they would enjoy it too. Very few organizations reach out to their customers in this way -- you’ll immediately set yourself apart. And your customers will think of you every time they see the book sitting on the shelf in their office.
Originally published Jan 12, 2018 8:00:00 AM, updated April 18 2018