The Secret To Building Customer Loyalty (Customer Testimonial)
This past spring I was reading an article about customer retention and how to figure out the LTV (life-time-value) of loyal customers. Being in the ultra-competitive financial planning industry, I was hoping to find ways to satisfy my customers beyond just making smart decisions with their assets. The article made a strong point that it is important to make your customers feel that you are thinking about them even when you aren't necessarily working on their portfolio. I started thinking to myself, "What can I do to make my clients feel valued?"
I came to the conclusion that letting my clients know how much I value their business would not be as hard as I thought if I just made a point to get them small gifts and cards on their birthdays and on holidays. The question I then asked myself was how much time will I spend personalizing and mailing out these gifts to my client base that is now approaching 200? Isn't there a more efficient and cost effective way to get this done and still achieve the same results?
So I did some searching online and found the answer is yes. I came across a business called The Birthday Company based in Coralville, Iowa that specializes in corporate gift delivery services. I went to their website http://www.birthdayco.com and after signing up for an account (which is free) I was able to solve my problem.
Once I created my account on the website, they sent me a free sample and in four days I received a beautifully personalized card as well as a tasty gift. At this point I was sold so I simply emailed a spreadsheet containing the names, addresses, and birthdays of my clients, which they entered into my password protected account for me (also free). Then I selected an account budget between $2.95 and $29.95 per client mailing. I am now able to sign into my account to view and make changes to my client list, like addresses, gift/price categories, add/delete clients. I can even personalize greetings for my entire list or for specific clients.
The Birthday Company now sends all of my customers a personalized card and gift on their birthdays. The gifts are randomly selected from gourmet chocolates, specialty candies, fancy brittles, toffees and Starbucks Cards and are automatically rotated so the customer will never receive the same gift twice. They also rotate dozens of greeting card designs so that even my clients in the same household (husband & wife) will get different birthday cards. The best part is the envelopes are personalized with my return address so it appears I took the time to send them myself!
I think I am starting to figure out this customer retention idea. Over the past six months, I've noticed the referrals from current clients has nearly doubled, allowing me to finally scale back on the time consuming and expensive investor seminars, print advertising and radio spots I had been doing for several years. Please don't get me wrong, I think these strategies are extremely important for someone trying to break into this crazy business, but after five years and a solid client base, I'm finding it's much easier to convince someone they need my services when they're a referral than it is to convince a stranger.
My next step is to try out the holiday, anniversary, and thank you mailings The Birthday Company offers to their customers. If it works as well as the birthday mailings have, maybe I'll be able to rely on just referrals to build my business from here on. Wish me luck.
Thank you Birthday Company!
New Website Allows Clients To Turn Birthday Gifts Into Business Opportunities
November 1, 2007 - Coralville, IA - As small business owners try to build lasting relationships with customers they run into one major problem. There are not enough hours in the day to let all customers know how much their business is truly appreciated.
Created as a marketing tool for professionals, the Birthday Company's corporate gift delivery services are designed to turn birthdays into business by encouraging company-client rapport. Establishing relationships with clients is vital to building future business-after all, it costs 10 times as much to acquire new clients than to keep old clients-but maintaining those relationships is the key to building a network of referrals.
Maintaining client relationships is the Birthday Company's specialty. By simply creating a free, password-protected account at http://www.birthdayco.com, sending in a list of client birthdays and addresses and choosing a budget, the Birthday Company will establish an automated corporate gift program.
After a gift budget has been established ($2.95 - $55.95), gifts like gourmet chocolates, specialty candies, fancy brittles and delicious toffees will be sent out seven days prior to each birthday. Standard or personalized greeting cards are sent with each client gift, and each mailing includes the company's return address on the package.
Once the client database has been created, it can be fully accessed for changes or additions at any time. The Birthday Company will keep track of what gifts have been sent to which clients, and will never send the same gift twice. The Birthday Company also offers holiday client gifts, as well as thank you and congratulatory gifts and cards.
For additional information contact Dave Chasse or visit www.BirthdayCo.com
About The Birthday Company:
Based out of Coralville, Iowa, The Birthday Company was created out of a demand from the financial planning, insurance, medical, and real estate sectors for a better corporate-client gift giving service. Remembering client birthdays is The Birthday Company's business, so that professionals can concentrate on their own business.