There are many things in life that puzzle me. One of them is why so many companies treat their existing customers so poorly compared to potential new customers. Surely, it’s a far better idea to make your customers feel special if you want to keep them.
I understand the thinking of running tempting short-term offers to try to attract new business but I feel it’s gone too far. Various studies, including one published by Forbes, estimate that the cost of acquiring new customers compared to retaining existing customers can be between 5 to 25 times higher, depending on the industry. So it’s clearly a false economy to neglect the customers you currently have.
There’s a misconception that loyalty will get you a better deal. However, this is rarely the case and you usually have to fight your corner hard to get a good deal.
Have you ever noticed when you phone a company’s sales line you generally get straight through but if you phone the customer services line you’re stuck in a queue for sometimes hours? During the long wait, you’re subjected to recorded messages telling you how busy they are right now but how they value your custom. Rubbish! They’re always busy and they clearly don’t value you. If they did, that line wouldn’t be so under-resourced.
Don’t even start me on emails, especially the pre-written ones addressed to ‘Dear Customer’. And I can feel my blood pressure rising just at the thought of using a chat box.
I’ve got a better idea. Instead of taking customers for mugs, it’s time to treat us all with consideration and respect. We shouldn’t be taken for granted and made to feel like an inconvenience by any company, leaving us feeling angry and frustrated. We should feel valued and special by receiving service beyond our expectations. A few little personal touches would really impress further.
Let’s look at how a personal touch or two could be added to a customer’s experience when buying or selling real estate. Answering the phone and responding to emails in good time and with a personalised response should be a given. But we want and deserve more!
Whether buying or selling a house or leasing an office, we are not talking about loose change here. Each customer has the potential to make the business a lot of money so it shouldn’t be asking much to give something back with a personal touch or two. If a young couple are looking to own their first home it can be a scary process so they will need extra care. So my suggestion is to treat them like royalty at all times. When any deal has been concluded give your customers a bunch of flowers, a bottle of champagne or something for their new home, as well as a handwritten thank you note.
Handwritten real estate notes cost little but are potentially worth their weight in gold. No matter what the circumstance, this form of communication lifts your spirit in a way an email never could. It’s so rare to receive anything handwritten nowadays which just adds to the charm. It seems to be a lost art as everything is sent electronically or printed nowadays. However, nothing comes close to displaying the character and personality of the author than through a personalised handwritten note or letter.
If you’ve provided a great service and backed it up by leaving your customer feeling special, you’re going to be their first thought when they next need your services. What’s more, they are going to tell their friends and family about their wonderful experience. They may also leave an online review which could be read by thousands. That small signing-off gesture could bring in many more customers for very little time and cost. Even if no business was done you should still leave them feeling appreciated and they’re more likely to return.
So spoil your customers and make them feel special and it will be a win-win for them and your business.