12/12/2012 - 07:11

Lifetime connections start at Christmas

12/12/2012 - 07:11

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CHRISTMAS is a favourite time of the year for many, business owners included. Sure, it usually gets a little hectic, but that’s exactly why we love it - our Christmas sales are so high that if it were Christmas all-year round, we’d be enjoying the holiday season on our own yacht in the Whitsundays right now (if you’ve followed the advice of our previous articles, that is ...).

Sometimes, however, we’re so focused on our revenue at this time of the year it’s easy to ignore the other opportunities that present so readily during this period. Christmas brings customers to your business like no other event or promotion can; so why not take advantage of the increased foot-traffic and use Christmas to start building those lifetime value customer relationships that every successful business is dependent on?

For those of you not familiar with the concept of ‘lifetime customers value’, here’s the rundown.

A lifetime customer is simply one who has bought from your business, loves what you’ve done, and comes back, time and time again.

Let’s say that the average life of a business is 25 years. You have 100 loyal customers that buy from you 20 times each year - 100 customers x 20 times equals 2,000 purchases.

This can potentially mean that you have 2,000 purchases a year. Over 25 years this could mean a potential 50,000 purchases-sales. This is the lifetime value of your customers, and this is why the concept of lifetime customers can be a gold mine.

Simply put, customers who offer high lifetime value are more profitable than other customers because they spend more at every transaction, and purchase more often. In other words, they are a business owner’s dream.

So how do you get these lifetime customers?

Capturing the details of customers to set these relationships in motion is something that can be easily done at this time of the year, and should in fact be a priority at this busy time. After all, a Christmas full of sales isn’t nearly as valuable as a handful of lifetime customers.

How you can use Christmas to capture customer details and kick-start a lifetime relationship?

Business card draw: This one requires hardly any effort and is a quick way of obtaining names and contact details. Simply display a glass bowl at your point of sale and ask customers to drop their business cards in it for the chance to win a Christmas prize. Easy, right?

Exclusive offer for December customers: At the point of sale, mention that you have exclusive Christmas-time promotional offers for customers purchasing this month only. Grab their name, email or mailing address, and email or post your offers away. Members-only website offers: Similar to the previous option except the work is done through your website. This one requires customers to create a username and password to login and access the offers, and customers have to enter their details in a form on your website.

Closed-door sales: Get customers to register for a closed-door Christmas sale, enticing them with giveaways on the night. This can easily be worked into extended Christmas trading hours. If you’ve missed the boat for this Christmas, you can easily apply this concept to a New Year’s sale.

Loyalty reward programs: Offer a special Christmas gift to customers joining loyalty programs during December. Christmas-themed DIY workshops: This is perfect for home services-based businesses, such as hardware stores, craft stores, and landscaping suppliers. Get customers to register for the event and theme the workshop around making products for Christmas. Free consultations: For service-based businesses that usually charge for initial consultations, free consultations as a ‘Christmas gift’ can offer great value to customers - simply ask them to fill in a form if they’re interested.

Make sure that you do what you can to start creating those valuable lifetime relationships with your customers this Christmas. You won’t have another opportunity like this for another 12 months, so get started now.

Steve Salvia is a business success coach and CEO of 10X WA. Contact Steve on 0418 919 775 | steve.saivia@10x.com.au

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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