Growing a business is not easy, it involves a lot of time, dedication and hard work. To grow effectively, you need to implement marketing and sales strategies to gain new customers, but you also need to make sure you’re spending time fostering the relationships with your current customer base.
Investing as much time, if not more, into retaining current customers is key to running a successful rental business. If you focus marketing and sales programs at drawing in new customers, your loyal customers may start to feel neglected or unimportant. Customers who don’t feel appreciated are certainly more susceptible to the marketing efforts of your competition.
To keep your current customers engaged, you need to develop marketing programs that target them to make them feel important.
Here are a few ideas for you to consider.
When is it most important to be communicating with a customer?
When they are planning for a big project and need equipment?
When you have a lot of machines out to rent with them?
When their job is done, and your equipment has been returned?
Or, when you haven’t heard from them in a while?
The truth is that the best time to communicate is all these times and more. Customers appreciate knowing their business has not gone unnoticed. They need your expertise when planning a job, service and support while a project is happening and a big “thank you” is always appreciated when a project is done.
You should also continue to communicate with them even when they don’t have anything going on with your company. To do that, consider developing your own electronic newsletter (sent via email) to keep your customer base informed about your business and the industry. It can include information about your company’s recent activities, customer testimonials, upcoming events, as well as sales and promotional offerings.
Create a winning customer experience
The customer experience has become one of the most important aspects of growing relationships. Sometimes all it takes to lose several customers is one bad experience. Customers talk to each other, and an unhappy customer will tell an average of 15 people about their experience.
To provide the best experience possible, make sure you and your staff are not just looking for a sale. Be personable, honest and transparent with the information you provide your customers. You’re the professional. Offer your insight, but don’t over promise. Not being able to follow through with what you commit, will create a bad experience for your customers and cost you their loyalty.
The equipment in your fleet and your commitment to service are also important to the experience. Invest in quality equipment and be sure your team is performing all the manufacturer recommended maintenance. And when something is need of repair, get it done as quickly as possible. Also, when there is an issue with a machine out on rent, be responsive and communicate throughout the entire resolution process.
Offer a customer appreciation program
Customers want to know they are valued and a great way to incentivize this is through offering a customer loyalty or customer appreciation program.
Many businesses offer a loyalty or appreciation programs such as special discounts, frequent purchase punch cards, or even electronic points loyalty cards to create repeat purchase incentives. Additionally appreciation can be shown through smaller ways too. A small thank you gift during the holiday season or or a designated “Customer Appreciation Day” filled with free food and activities, making a great engagement opportunity for you to bond and build your relationships with your customers.
Provide support using multiple touch points
It used to be that customer support meant either a phone call or an in-person visit. That’s not enough to compete in our new technology age. . To give your customers the best support in town, you need to go above and beyond with extra resources. Use social media, like Facebook and YouTube, to post instructional videos, “How-To’s”, and helpful information about your business. You should also monitor your social media platforms for customer feedback or concerns. Be responsive and transparent, because the rest of your customer base could be watching.
You should also be using physical resources like instruction manuals to give user support to customers who aren’t online.
Employing these ideas can help grow your business. It is much cheaper to retain your current customers and increasing client retention could lead to an exponential profit increase.