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14 03, 2011

Can a Business Have Too Many Customers?

By |2017-03-03T12:07:09-05:00March 14th, 2011|Categories: Blog, Customer Service|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |4 Comments

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Thank all of your customers

It seems that when times are tough businesses go looking for new customers; the  cost of acquisition can be quite high. If you want to know how much it costs,  just take the cost of your ads and your commercials and divide by the number of people who buy from you. Don’t fool yourself by counting the ones that  come in your store to say hello, count the ones that actually buy. This is called your acquisition cost.

The statistics are that it costs 5 times to get a new customer than it costs to keep an old customer. It has also been said that in the average business you need to bring each customer back at least 5 times before you begin to profit.

I love this example from Action International. If a  bakery spends $300 per week on advertising, and then as a result gets 30 new customers, their acquisition cost per customer is $10. Now if each new customer spends $5 when they come in, and $2.50 of the sale is profit and $2.50 is hard cost, the bakery has actually lost $5 on each new customer. If of those 30 new customers, 20 never came back, the bakery has actually lost $100 on that marketing campaign. No wonder businesses are always asking, how much should I spend on advertising?

Of course businesses need new customers but getting them through  advertising is the hard, expensive way. What’s the answer? Spending time advertising and marketing to your existing customers so they will bring their friends back.

I don’t think this is a new concept, I’m not the only one talking about this for years. The question is why don’t businesses go after their existing customers?

Could it be that a business can go broke because of too many new customers? It would appear so.

There’s gold in those old customers. I think businesses know it but they still hunt, beg, scream, give-it-away or anything to get new customers. How about finding ways to get them back?

A cup of coffee? It’s been said that a cup of coffee is a powerful way to keep your customers coming back. How about  “I would like to espresso my thanks for your business?” I don’t know where I read it but I think it’s powerful. You can also follow up and see who uses your coffee coupons.

By now everyone must have heard of Groupon. If you sign up in your area you get coupons for everything. This week there was a discount on a wine tour. Check out Groupon in your area; maybe this is a good way to market to new and existing customers.

Have fun. Remember the Beanie Baby craze? McDonald’s was overwhelmed with customers for their “Teenie Beanies.” They were such a hit that McDonald’s had people and cars all over the place. How do I know? I was in the line waiting for the new introduction. Hey I heard it may be back.

The most important thing is to stay in touch with your customer. Price Chopper supermarket has a  program called Fuel Advantage with Sunoco. Launched in 2009, consumers can accumulate their points received for buying groceries at Price Chopper across  a 90-day time frame and cash in on their gasoline discount for up to 20 gallons at their convenience. Last week gas cost me $1.60 a gallon!

I received $2.00 off on my purchase at Payless, entered into a sweepstake at Olive Garden and Marshalls. Who wants to miss the BOGO at Payless?

I also got 10% off at Petco because I have 1670 accumulated points from putchasing cat food and kitty litter. I also got $5.00 off at Staples that I used to buy a printer cartridge.  I’ve gotten very coupon conscious lately; everything seems so expensive. I can’t be any different than your customers. The most important thing is to find ways to keep in touch with your customers. Many of you are using send-out-cards; a clever way to stay in touch with your customers using direct mail and others are using video email. I love the video email, I use Talkfusion because it’s easy and fun and has a video conferencing feature and links to Facebook. Check out both of these links.

Tomorrow I fly to Coverings trade show for tile and flooring. If you’re attending, visit me on Wednesday, March 16th, for my seminar, “Customer Retention Strategies” for some new tips. And by the way, I’m flying Southwest because they don’t charge for luggage and they’ll feed me! In case you haven’t noticed, they’re not cheap anymore.

“Loyal customers, they don’t just come back, they don’t simply recommend you, they insist that their friends do business with you. He profits most who serves best.”

Lisbeth Calandrino is an award winning author, trainer and blogger. She is  author of the book, Red Hot Customer Service, 35 ways to heat up your business and ignite your sales. Lisbeth can provide customer service and sales training using the principles of her book at your place of business or through video conferences.

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4 09, 2010

Selling Your Brand Down the River

By |2017-03-03T12:07:13-05:00September 4th, 2010|Categories: Blog, Building a Brand|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

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We worry so much about our store branding, our product branding; what about our personal branding?

What is it that successful companies have figured out—McDonalds, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts? You might answer good marketing but more specifically it’s about their brand. Branding used to be just for products, not any more. Branding is a combination of intangible and intangible characteristics and sets you apart from others. Whether you define it or not, you have a brand. Branding is your reputation; it’s what sets you apart and the value you bring to the situation. As my mom said, all you have is your reputation.You’re not defined by your job title or your job description you are defined by the value of your reputation.

AS the CEO of your own company, what you stand for is as important as what you sell. When there is a ‘disconnect’ between who you say you are and what you do, it makes people untrustworthy.  Consider Tiger Woods and how he has been portrayed in the media. Over the years his agency has worked hard to portray him as a serious, focused golfer and family man. Although this may be true, the last few months have made us question his previous branding. Not that Tiger wanted to portray the other part of his life but because it’s so different than our original perception, we begin to question everything he does. When he came out and discussed his personal life the gamut of feelings were disgust and sadness. In my mind there was no reason for him to discuss his personal life. He is considered one of the finest golfers in the world; this has nothing to do with his personal life.To stand the test of time, a brand must be built from the inside out, not the outside in. Unfortunately his brand is ‘performance based’ and he is only as good as his last performance or his last win. His private life was his private life until he made it public.For the most part his brand was build on an authenticity, a hard working focused golfer.

We all have a brand. Paris Hilton’s brand was one of beautiful, fun loving, well spoken and a young woman living her life. Recently she was arrested for drug possession which changes the nature of how she is viewed.

I don’t think many of us think too much about our brands but we should. This is why your social media profile and behavior should reflect who you are. It is foolish to post anything that is not flattering to you on your social medial platform. We are all entitled to fun and a few drinks now and then but having to be driven home or forgetting your keys because you were drinking certainly takes a way from your creditability and ultimately the credibility of your business.

Okay three things to think about when building your brand:

Clarity, who are you, what you do and why it does it matter? Here we are again, building differentiation and your competitive advantage. If you know what makes you different it helps you determining a market strategy. I think you can have lots of customers you just can’t have all of them. But if you’re clear on who you are, you will get your share.

Consistency, can you be counted on to act the same way no matter what the situation? I had a boss once who was fine until about the third week of every month when the inventory was due. She became nasty, angry and just awful to be around.When the monthly figures were unveiled, her job was on the line.

The last is character. This is what makes you. This is your personality, your sense of humor your excitement for life. This is what brings you to life and make people want to connect to you. This is your gift and your “personal flair.”I know people say Lisbeth you move so fast, you have so much energy and enthusiasm; these are considered my gifts. On the other side is the Lisbeth who gets bored easily, worn out with not enough sleep and is short tempered. The better you know yourself the better you will be at connecting to your “special customers and friends.”

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