I was listening to the radio this morning when I heard an advert come over the radio, the type that you hear all the time. The type that we are bombarded with every day through the press, radio, TV, Internet, social media and many others. It even has even become a cliche catchphrase that most people have a chuckle over…….”brand new customers only”.
Big businesses spend hundreds of thousands every day on creating marketing campaigns designed to entice new customers; whether it be Sky with a free TV offer, Virgin with their big discount for 9 months or Direct Line with their guarantee to beat any quote. All of this is fantastic and lures in new customers keen to get a deal. But what about those people who you already have as clients…..what about them.
Marketing experts across the globe teach us each day to build a loyal following of customers, in doing so they will go forth and evangelise our products/services thus drive new customers to us….we should look after our loyal customers. Yet here we are in a commodity market place that is basically “luring” new customers in while sh**ing them out the other end when they get angry that their loyalty is not rewarded.
We only have to do a quick search on the Internet to turn up many instance of such conversations with these types of business:
In a recent conversation that I saw on Facebook with Virgin Media with regard to an offer that they were running for a free bluetooth speaker someone challenged them on the fact that all these offers were made available to new customers but there was no reward for loyal customers. The response, to be honest, was very disappointing; they were told that this is a practice that is done all across the industry. While this is very true, does this make it right? At what point did the excuse “he did it so I did” become a valid reason for doing something?
In the small business marketplace we have to work hard to get new clients, we cannot afford to be throwing free TV’s/Tables etc at new clients to get them through the door. So when we get a new client we work hard to keep them, we work to deliver value every single day often going above and beyond the call of duty.
I have to ask the question; If big businesses adopted the same attitude towards existing clients then what would happen? I personally believe that their business, and brand, would become stronger and their client base would thrive……imagine that!
Anyway, enough from me and my rant. If you have any thoughts on this then I would love you to share them.