What is your process for staying in touch with your customers? Believe it or not, most companies ONLY send newsletters or special offers to existing customers. And 95% of the time, those newsletters and emails are about the company pounding their chest or about what else they are trying to sell. Then, when business is down and you need revenue, you are embarrassed to reach out to existing customers because you don't want to look like you are selling them something.
The best way to gain customer insights, market intelligence, increase revenue is to get it from existing customers because they already know you and hopefully like you and trust you. It is always easier and less expensive to increase revenue from existing customers then get new ones. So, how to you get repeat business consistently? The answer is to put a process in place. Using a combination of emails, calls and meetings, you would be pleasantly surprised at how much revenue you can add to the bottom line.
At the very minimum you should be visiting your key customers annually. The reality is that 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your customers. Those are your key customers...get off your duff and go visit them. Is it going to cost money to visit them? Probably. If you spend $1000 on airfare and travel to get a $10,000, $30,000 or $100,000 deal, would you say it was worth it? We have had clients that have added 15% of revenue by just visiting key accounts.
The best practice is to develop a system to reach out to existing customers. Pick a frequency, then pick the vehicle for communication. Put the process into your CRM system and then at the minimum it can (should) remind you to do the activity. Even better, with the automation available in CRM systems, you might have the ability to automate most of the actions such as sending emails and scheduling calls and reminders. The only thing that can't be automated is actually scheduling the meeting with your customer since you need their input.
This is not rocket science. Spend 30 minutes and develop your first draft at staying in touch with customers and make sure that annual visits are one of the items.