One of the first strategies I discuss with clients when they want to grow their business is to ask their existing customers for referrals. Always a good strategy. I’ve seen and advised clients on creative strategies in offering referrals. One of my clients, an aesthetic spa, offers a gift certificate on Saturday’s if you introduce a new client to the spa by booking your appointment together. Works well. Think about your client base over the next few days and think of some creative ways to get referrals or just ask and remember to send them a thank you note.
Here’s an informative article in today’s Globe and Mail on client referral incentives:
Put Your Customers to Work for you. The Globe and Mail 27/08/2010
I read an article in the Globe and Mail this morning that really rings true for a lot of small business. Do we spend to much time trying to reward new customers and not enough marketing toward rewarding our existing customer base. Let’s not erode brand loyalty by alienating our premier customers and leave them out of our reward or discount programs. Rewarding your best customers in a way that recognizes their valued status is a key strategy that can keep people coming back to your business again and again.
Globe and Mail – Treat each customer the same, or reward the best?
In reading many articles over the weekend I came across an article from Computerworld on “Four Dirty Little Secrets of CRM Requirements Lists”, it really did hit a home run for me. The article really is a pattern interrupt in the common thinking that features and functionality is everything when it comes to evaluating a new CRM solution for your business. The secrets are these:
“Secret 1 – Features are less important than User Adoption…
Secret 2 – Features are less important than Data Credibility…
Secret 3 – Features are less important than Platform…
Secret 4 – Features are less important than Reliability…”
The two secrets that stand out for me are #1 and #2. In my experience with clients who have implemented CRM it’s less about features and functions and more about “how can my employees use this as an effective tool to make their life easier?” or “how can automating processes with CRM save time?”. When evaluating a CRM solution for your business ask yourself “what processes can I automate or improve” rather than looking at it in terms of what are all the functions and features that I need. Most of todays CRM have the fuctionality or can be customized to meet your needs. Data credibility is everything, that is why secret #2 is so critical. Without credible data your CRM system implementation will fail. Having a strong data migration plan that puts reliable data into the system so users can get started right away.
referring article Computerworld: