Reactivate Your Client Base

Reactivating your client base is easier when you create a community. This is overlooked by a lot of business people. If you’re interested in keeping your clients engaged and interacting, then by creating a community where you can interact with them on an ongoing basis, and they can, in some cases, interact with each other, it creates more of a bond than they would likely have with somebody if they’re just doing more of a transactional type of thing.

David: Hi, and welcome to the podcast. In today’s episode, cohost Jay McFarland, and I will be discussing reactivating your client base. Welcome Jay.

Jay: It’s good to be here. You know, it’s funny. I hear this everywhere I go now. If I watch Shark Tank or anything else, I hear this term CAC. You know, what is your CAC? And it’s your customer acquisition cost.

And I have to believe that your CAC, for a customer you’ve already worked with, has got to be lower than trying to bring in a brand new customer. Am I right?

David: Oh, absolutely. And I think instinctively as business people, we probably already know this. We’ve probably heard it a hundred times, but the purpose of this discussion is not to have you hear it again. The purpose of this discussion is to ask, “are you doing this?” And if so, how well are you doing this? How much better could you be doing this?

Because as you pointed out, once you’ve invested that money to acquire a customer, now you want to be able to leverage that relationship as much as possible to provide them with additional help, additional solutions so that you can generate the revenue. They can get the results they’re looking for, and you’re not spending more money to attract people. You’re able to just expand the relationships that you have with the people who you’ve already acquired that first time.

Jay: Yeah. And I think it’s disappointing if you spent that money for customer acquisition and then you don’t have a system to retain them or keep them online. And so now it’s almost like you’re spending the same money twice. If you’re trying to get them back again.

David: Right. Yes. And so when we think about reactivation, there are a couple of aspects to it. One is just people who haven’t bought from you in a little while, to touch base with them again, to reengage those people and to see what they want, what they need. Essentially, requalifying them to find out where they are in that process.

Are they ready to buy more things? Do they have a date in mind when they want to buy? Are they ready to go now? Or are they just not ready to do anything? Are they sort of disqualified for the moment? Are they unresponsive to you?

Because they’ll generally fall into one of those five categories. They’re either ready to buy. They have dates in mind when they want to buy. They’re open to the idea, but not sure when. Or they’re disqualified, or they’re not responsive.

When you are able to go back and sort of requalify your existing clients, you can reactivate the ones who are ready to go now. You can schedule the ones who know when they want to go next. And the ones who are generally receptive, you can just stay in touch.

Jay: Yeah. Or what about the ones who were disappointed, but they didn’t take the time. Right? So many customers will never tell you that they had a bad experience. They just move on and…

David: Yeah.

Jay: you had no idea. So you’re not improving your customer service and your chance of reviving that customer is very low.

David: Yeah. And that’s an excellent point, too. Because as you indicated, if you don’t know that, but you’re reaching out to them to see how you can help next, and you find out about that problem, then at least you have the possibility of restoring the relationship, if not doing anything about the previous order.

Jay: Yeah. So what are we talking about here? Like good drip campaigns? Is that kind of where you would start? So you’re in constant contact? What do you think is the best way to go about this?

David: Well, I do think it starts with engaging your people. And engaging your people can be done in a lot of different ways. It can be done via email with a drip campaign. It can be done on the phone. It can be done in person.

There are lots of different ways that we can engage with people. But recognizing that there is a tendency, sometimes, after we’ve sold something, to immediately move on to the next thing. “Okay. That’s taken care of. That’s done. Now I’m onto the next thing.”

And then we sort of forget about that person until we either hear back from them. Or until and unless we’ve got some sort of procedure in place, in our own businesses, to remind us to go back to those people and see where they are in the process. And see how we can help them again.

So I would say it starts with engagement. Just recognize that we need to constantly engage with the people who have provided us with a hundred percent of the revenue we’ve generated to date, right? That’s what they’ve done.

Before you look for three more people to add to the list, make sure that the ones you have don’t need anything. Because you’ll be saving yourself a lot of money and you’ll be better satisfying the people that you’ve already paid to acquire.

Second thing I would look to do is to ask questions. Find out what’s going on in their heads — what they’re thinking, what they need, what they’re open to, and their timelines, that type of thing.

So it’s relatively easy to do. And because you already have a relationship with them, they’re going to be a lot more likely to answer those questions than if you were talking to somebody who you’ve never engaged with before. So I think engaging, asking questions and really trying to connect with the important people in your business, your existing clients, wherever you can.

Jay: I do see this a lot more now. The minute that I finish placing an order online or in an app, I suddenly, instantly get the “how did we do?” And then the stars come up. And they’re instantly asking, “how did we do?” And sometimes it’s frustrating for me because if it’s something that they’re shipping to me, I’m like, “well, I don’t know how you did yet, because I don’t know what your product is.”

Others are designed to where that question happens after it’s been shipped. So they have a system that’s set up. They know it just arrived at my house and then boom, I get the email. And it says, “how did we do?” And I think it’s very, very smart to be asking that question right away. My background’s the restaurant business. So I always go back to restaurants. It’s you’ve delivered the food. Now you wait a few minutes and you come back, they’ve had a chance to taste the food. Now I’m going to say, “how is everything?” And make sure that everybody’s happy.

David: Yeah, that’s true. And in a lot of other types of businesses that is not done. Obviously, as you indicated in a restaurant, people are going to ask, how is everything? What else can I get you? That type of thing.

But in a lot of other businesses that doesn’t happen. Or doesn’t happen consistently. One of the things that we encourage our clients to do is to have a procedure in place for after an order is delivered. So that they’re getting the product and then you know, within a certain period of time when that should have arrived and you’re touching base with them to find out.

A lot of my clients in the print and promotions industry, particularly if it’s a promotional product that was shipped from a supplier, the distributor who sold it might not know exactly when that arrived. And so that person might assume that yes, it arrived exactly as it was supposed to. I didn’t hear anything. That’s all good. And that’s not a good assumption to make.

Particularly now with supply chain issues and with delivery issues on a lot of things. You don’t want to make those types of assumptions.

And so if you schedule out the idea of contacting somebody within a day or two, after that should have arrived, to find out, did you get it? Was everything good? Are there any concerns that you have? You’re far better off doing that than waiting until there’s a problem and having them call you. Because at that point you’re going to have to be a lot more reactive. You’re not being proactive and clients don’t like that at all.

Jay: Yeah. Yeah, you can still salvage the situation, but it’s much harder.

The other thing that I’ve noticed about the follow-up, the follow-up survey, is it’s actually a great opportunity for the upsell. Right?

David: Right.

Jay: You know, if they’re like, you know, you’ve got five stars, Hey, how did we do? They’re like, Five stars. And then you’re like, Hey, just wanted to let you know, we’ve got this special on this and it’s similar to what you just bought. To me, it’s a great way to keep that sales process going, if they were happy.

David: It is, and it’s just good relationship building. It’s the type of thing, once again, we should be doing this anyway. We should be interacting with the people who spend money with us. Finding out what they need and how we can help them.

And the one other thing that I would say, particularly now, with the ability to have various groups. You can have Facebook groups and things like that. The idea of creating a community is, I think, very overlooked by a lot of business people.

And if you’re interested in keeping your clients engaged and interacting, then by creating a community where you can interact with them on an ongoing basis, and they can, in some cases, interact with each other, it creates more of a bond than they would likely have with somebody if they’re just doing more of a transactional type of thing.

Jay: Yeah, I love that you brought this up because you know, there was a time when you’d be the mom and pop store and they’d have to come in the front door and you knew everybody by name. You probably knew about their kids. You’re always asking ’em questions.

All of that aspect of relationship building in business is really gone with online sales. So the question is how do you revive it? How do you apply that relationship word to a digital world? And it’s not easy, but there are people who pull it off.

David: Yeah. And I think it’s not easy because it’s not particularly intuitive.

We look at the tools we have at hand and we say, okay, I can post things. I can make comments. I can click “like.” I can post video. You can look at all the different things that you can do. But you don’t think of it strategically in terms, necessarily, of relationship building, which is really what should be happening.

How can I post something that is going to be helpful to people that’s going to get them to engage with me? How can I comment in a way that is not designed to just try to get to the next sale, but to let them know that I’m actually interested? That I’m another human being, taking in air on the planet, who is interested in what’s going on with them.

So a lot of the things that we might normally tend to do in person automatically. We sort of forget how to do when we’re online. And it’s really just a matter of reconnecting with the idea of… if it’s a person interacting with another person, how can I do that in a way that’s not going to be really annoying?

Jay: Yeah, and I think it also depends on the size of your business. If you’re a smaller operation, you may have the time and the ability to pick up the phone and call your customers and just say, Hey, thanks. And just wanted to see how the process went. And, get any ideas, but you know, if you’re doing, a thousand orders a day, that’s just not going to happen.

You could hire a company to do that. And some do, and it can be very valuable. But I think finding any way you can, to follow up on that order, to find out how it went, what their impression of you is, what is the likelihood that they would use you again? This is invaluable information if you’re going to stay alive in today’s competitive world.

David: Yeah. And even sending a follow-up email like that is the kind of thing now, that can be automated a lot easier than it could have even three or four years ago. So there are really no excuses. I think sometimes small businesses say, well, I can’t do that. I’m not Amazon. I can’t do that. Well, you probably can.

You can probably have an assistant. Or even a virtual assistant who could send out an email to ask how something went. And it’s really just a matter of having the will to do it rather than anything else.

Jay: Yeah. The will to do it and then having a system to follow up on it. Cuz some people are just not good.

I’ve always looked. And I think we’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve always looked at a breakdown in your system as an opportunity to build loyalty. They’re not perfect, but man, if they mess up, they are going to just take care of it so well. I’m going to go back to that company over and over again, instead of the company that tries to blame other people or you know, it wasn’t us or makes it very hard to complain and things like that. Customer issues are an opportunity to get loyalty in my opinion.

David: Absolutely. And it’s part of a process that should be taking place regardless. But, to nutshell it, if we look at the idea of reactivating our client base in as many ways as possible, interacting with the people who have spent the money with us and doing that at a personal level, building the relationship, that’s about the best thing we can do.

Jay: Yeah, absolutely. And again save you a lot less money than trying to generate a brand new customer where you have to start the process over and over again.

David: Yeah. No question. And we will be continuing this topic inside the Inner Circle all this week. So if you’re already an Inner Circle member, be sure to log in, continue the discussion.

If you’re not, check out for Inner Circle, that’s, and we will continue the discussion inside.

Jay: Yeah, go there. You may have a lot of customers that you can reactivate that you could have access to right now and reduce that CAC, that customer acquisition cost.

David, it’s always a pleasure.

David: Thank you so much, Jay.

Are You Ready to Start Reactivating Your Client Base?

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