Do you maintain a database or are you flying by the seat of your pants?

Whether you call it a database, a customer list, or a CRM you will have valuable customer data sitting in your business that is an untapped goldmine waiting to be unlocked.

As with many trades businesses time is chewed up working in the business and little time is left to work on the business. Yep, I hear you “how the F… can I do it all!”

When we’re caught up in the cycle of doing it’s hard to see a way off the hamster wheel. When our first business coach told us 12 years ago, we should be spending at a minimum 5 hours a week working on the business it seemed impossible, if we spent time working on our business how could we possible reach our financial goals, how could we keep our customers happy, how could we get everything done we were already working long hours and feeling exhausted.

We’ll turns out they were right the more time we invested working on the business the more successful the business became. The massive rewards weren’t confined to the business either the more structure we put in place the happier our team, customer and family relationships became.

So back to your data base! It costs around 5 x more to gain a new customer than to nurture an existing customer, it makes sense to maintaining great relationships with the ones we have. recorded the following stats in a recent blog

  • Obtaining a new customer can cost 5 times more than retaining an existing customer.
  • By retaining 5% more customers you can potentially increase profits from 25-95%.
  • You are 60-70% more likely to sell to a customer you have previously worked with, whereas the chance of selling to a new customer is 5-20%.
  • A customer experience agencydiscovered that loyal customers are 5x as likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, 4x as likely to refer, and 7x as likely to try a new offering.
  • American Express found 33%of customers will consider switching companies after just one instance of poor customer service.

Makes perfect sense but where the hell do I start, you ask.

Managing a customer database or a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) doesn’t have to be super complicated or expensive, but it does require time and commitment to keep the information accurate and up to date. A time investment that will repay you tenfold.

Step 1 – You customer data base is made up of people who HAVE spent money with you.

You’ll want at a minimum to record their name, contact number, email address and address. You can use an excel spread sheet or a CRM software application.

You may also want to record;

  • Type of business as an example commercial builder or homeowner.
  • Date they started trading with you.
  • List of projects worked on and profit margin.

A customer has already cost you money to acquire hoping, wishing, and praying they will return won’t get them back. Your customer base is where you build a tribe of raving fans that will continue selling for YOU! The trick is to surpass their expectations consistently.

Step 2 – Get clear on who your ideal clients are.

Rank your customers A, B, C or D

A = Your ideal customer – jobs you love doing, profitable, the customer pays on time, and you enjoy working with them and you have established a good relationship and done multiple jobs for them.

B = Potential to be ideal customer – jobs you love doing, profitable, slow payer, haven’t established a relationship, have worked on more than 1 job.

C = Cut or Cull – No repeat business, no relationship. Are they potential A customer? Do you build a relationship with them?

D = Cut – difficult to work with, don’t like the types of projects, unorganised, don’t pay on time.

Step 3 – So by now you are clear on the customers you want to work with and those that you are going to let go of.

The next step is to understand the needs of your customer and how often you need to be getting in touch with them. You could choose to tag by number of weeks between contact 4, 8 ,12.

Step 4 – Now that you have ranked your customers and tagged them with frequency of contact the next step is to create an ongoing customer engagement journey. A process that will enhance the customer experience and make sure you stay front of mind.

When your customers feel like they belong and a part of your tribe they will become an extension of your marketing.

Here are a few suggestions to get you thinking about your process.

  • Follow up after quotation.
  • Confirmation call prior to arriving on site.
  • Follow up call after work completed.
  • Call to discuss changes in legislation.
  • Industry insights
  • Send out a survey.
  • Newsletter bimonthly
  • Nurture calls every …. weeks or a week after your newsletter and use it as a topic of conversation.
  • Closed door event once a year
  • Anniversary card – recognising how long you have worked together.
  • Christmas/special holiday cards
  • Birthday cards
  • Baby gifts or card
  • Wedding gift or card
  • Celebration cards for clients reaching a milestone or winning an award.