By Stephanie Kirschner
Companies and organizations know that it is cheaper to retain existing customers, than win over new ones. However, if there were an almost guaranteed period when new customers would be looking for specific goods or services, it’d be silly for the company not to go after this new business. But what if it meant risking existing customer loyalty
Consider, for instance, a company that has a limited supply of product or capacity for service. How can it achieve the balance between encouraging new customers, while retaining current customers such as in a gym, or health club? The frustration in that particular case, is that each year without fail, a guaranteed influx of ‘January Resolutioners’ hyped to join through lower prices and membership deals, swell the members’ numbers. Yet the limited numbers of treadmills, cardio and strength training machines and spaces in workout classes remain and it gets harder and harder to retain a fair balance of new and loyal customers.
How do you bring in new customers – taking advantage of a time where they are actively seeking out YOUR service, in a time of high competition among your peers – without alienating your existing customers?
Perhaps the answer lies in leveling with those existing customers and acknowledging their frustrations. Imagine the boost in loyalty if a gym were to email existing customers in December saying,
“Gird your loins, the Resolutioners are coming! Here at Joe’s Gym, we are highly supportive of everyone achieving their fitness and wellness goals. However, we do acknowledge that this annual influx of gym-goers can make for a crowded time of things! As a way of expressing our appreciation for your loyalty, we will be offering extended hours for the month of January. But don’t worry – as a way to cut down on crowds, these extended hours will be offered exclusively to those members who have been coming to Joe’s for more than 6 months.”
Not only does the staff at Joe’s acknowledge the pending frustration in a proactive customer service win, it offers a solution and a way of alleviating the over-capacity strain. It becomes a strong marketing strategy to find balance between different customer groups