2. Increase the Number of Times Customers Come Back
Increasing the ‘transaction frequency’ – or the number of times someone deals with you is an important step to increasing your profitability. In fact, some would say this is the most important ingredient of all. Studies suggest it costs up to 6 times more to win a new customer than it does to have an existing customer buy again. So how can you encourage repeat business?
- Inspire Customer Loyalty – Motivating your customers to come back to your business more often is vital to the long-term health and profitably of your business. The more frequently your customers purchase from you, the greater your profits. The most important customer list in the world is the one you already have. Loyal customers will not only return to your business, they will become walking advertisements for you. They will refer their friends and family to you. The easiest way to get new customers is through your current customers.
- Know Your Best Customers – This can be done by simply classifying your customers into A, B, C and D categories. This means that your on-going communication and marketing approach will be more appropriate for each group. Gather information about your customers. The more you know about them, the better service you can provide.
- Provide Awesome Service – Creating a team commitment to service can keep your customers returning and referring. You need to train your team so they deliver consistently outstanding service. Be exceptional and exceed customer expectations. Make sure your service is better and quicker, provide longer and/or stronger guarantees. Your team also need to have clearer guidelines for problem-solving, how to ‘think-out-of-the-box’ and be empowered to do so.
ASK NOT WHAT THE CUSTOMER CAN DO FOR YOU, BUT WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR THE CUSTOMER!
- Stop the Leakage – If you are losing customers think about ways to retain them and stop the defections. When money is tight customers expect more for their dollar. Refine your customer service strategy to insure that every step from taking the order to delivery is client focused and effective. How can you make the service more efficient and valuable so you retain their business? Identify and follow up lost sales and customers.
- Nurture Your Customers – Nurturing is the most cost effective way to make customers feel valued and motivated to keep purchasing from you. The more you stay in touch with them the more likely they are to remember you. Newsletters, special offers, service reminders and thank you notes are all effective strategies. You could establish a loyalty program with rewards for frequent purchases. Your current customers are most important as they are walking/talking advertisements for your business and will refer friends and family to you. Offer on-going support, education or advise about your products or services.
- Use Customer Comment – Asking for feedback lets customers know that you are truly interested in them and their opinion – something other businesses may not even bother with. Most customers will not tell you about their negative experiences but will simply ‘vote with their feet’. Follow up and make sure they are happy and THANK THEM for their business and referrals. The feedback can also be extremely valuable for your strategic planning. Make sure feedback has been auctioned to ensure customers can see their suggestions are valued.
This completes Stage 2 of ‘Four Ways to Grow Your Business’. Each of the above items can be substantially widened to help your business grow. We can work with you and make a plan so that it works. Call me at 416.488.1801 or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to show you how we can help.
As well, if you can’t wait for Stage 3 and 4 over the next month in new BLOGS, I would be pleased to give you a private preview addressed specifically for your business.
It may sound simplistic but basically there are four ways to create a more profitable and valuable business
- Increase the number of customers (of the type you want)
- Increase the number of times customers come back
- Increase the average value of each sale you make
- Increase the effectiveness of each process in your business
These 4 fundamental strategies will help you win more customers, motivate them to come back to you more often, prompt them to spend more when they do and improve the processes in your business to ensure that you can manage the growth.
Theoretically, it’s that simple! If you could increase each one of 4 factors by just 10% the combined effect would be an incredible 46.4% increase in your sales. Is it possible? We at All Year Taxation Ltd believe it is achievable and we can provide the tools, experience and help to make it happen.
At All Year Taxation Ltd, we are not just your average bookkeeping/accounting/tax prep business that just ‘counts beans’ and keeps ‘score’. We aim to work with you to build a better, more profitable and valuable business by combining our consulting expertise with your knowledge of the business.
- Increase the number of customers (of the type you want)
Most business owners focus on winning more new customers through advertising. This can be expensive and there are numerous other strategies that you should consider including:
- Develop Referral Systems – Thank your clients for any referrals and consider a reward system to encourage additional referrals.
- Develop a Unique Selling Point – What makes your business unique? Think about what you do differently from your competitors. You need to find ways to differentiate your business and communicate these points to your customers.
- Research your Market – You need to understand your customer needs and focus on benefits you offer. It is vital that all of your advertising and marketing material focuses on the benefits customers will receive rather than just the features of your products and services.
- Improve Product Mix – to be more appealing and concentrate efforts on high margin products and/or services.
- Enter New Markets such as exports or selling in new areas.
- Trust your Advertising and Marketing – Identify your ideal customer and direct your advertising and marketing strategy to reach those potential customers.
- Review your Phone Manner – Many marketing ‘experts’ consider the phone to be the single most underutilized selling resource in business. Why spend money advertising if the customer’s first contact with your organization turns out to be a negative experience? With proper training (that we can provide) and follow up your team can learn to have skills to handle any call and convert it into a sale. Use phone scripts to alleviate anxiety engage conversation and increase sales!
- Develop a Sales System – A systemic approach to selling based on an effective sales method is a must-have for increasing your customer base. To motivate consumers to make a purchase, it is usually important to educate them. Ask new customers, ‘how did you hear about us?’ It’s a simple question that can tell you volumes about the success of your advertising.
- Be a Problem Solver – If a person inquires about something you do, they are asking for help in solving their problem. If you fail to do everything possible to solve their problem you are doing them a DISSERVICE. Identify their problem. Direct them to the proper solution!
- Create Sales Forecasts – Mapping your sales forecasts is also crucial to increasing sales. It’s must easier to get to your destination – if you know where you are going! Sales forecasts help you find that direction and give you a target to achieve (See previous BLOGS on Business Plans)
- Follow Up – Statistics show that 80% of sales are made after the 5th contact. Think about other ways to promote your business. There are so many! Create reciprocal referral agreements with a non-competitive business with the same type of customer base.
This completes Stage 1 of ‘Four Ways to Grow Your Business’. Each of the above items can be substantially widened to help your business grow. We can work with you and make a plan so that it works. Call me at 416.488.1801 or drop me a line at email@example.com. I would be happy to show you how we can help.
As well, if you can’t wait for Stage 2, 3 and 4 over the next month in new BLOGS, I would be pleased to give you a private preview addressed specifically for your business.
Before you even consider gathering your papers so that you can file your 2014 personal income tax return, sit down and ponder how you can pay less in 2015 on your taxes. It is too late to do anything to cut back on 2014 taxes, but the CRA have made some changes for 2015 that you should consider.
Prior to doing anything, if you are one of those fortunate few who have some excess cash at the moment, add that cash to your Tax Free Saving Account (TFSA). The present contribution – for 2015 – is limited to $5,500.00. If you make your contribution now, and not at the end of the year, you will earn interest tax-free during the year. Much better than keeping this excess cash in a GIC and paying tax on the interest. SO DON’T WAIT>>>>DO IT NOW!
For 2015 the CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) – they are the people that collect our taxes – has doubled the ‘children’s fitness tax credit’ from $500 to $1,000. Effective as at January 1, 2015. Not only was the 15% tax rate previously just a credit but now it is now refundable.
There are other benefits that you should be aware of. While each of the changes for 2015 may not save you a huge bundle, if you pay attention to all the changes that effect you the savings will add up! If you would like to discuss your particular situation and how the new programs may benefit your family drop by our office or give me a call at 416.488.1801. Remember there is never a charge just to have us answer a question.