Customer retention

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Q. How do I improve communication with past customers?

A. Especially with today's challenging economy, retaining your customer base is crucial to your company's success. Cultivating your existing clients is much less expensive than the costs associated with generating new business. Staying in constant contact with your clients will ensure you have accurate patient records, guaranteeing your customer's needs are met or exceeded and therefore increasing client loyalty. In addition, make certain to have multiple methods to reach your clients such as requesting an alternate phone number or email address to keep on file. If a phone number or mailing address does happen to be out of date, try contacting the physician to update this information. Your efforts will further confirm your commitment to their well-being, not just a one-time product delivery.

Sophisticated database technology by specialized companies has made possible improved customer retention through marketing programs and software. Establishing a detailed client list will allow these companies to organize customer information according to their individual healthcare needs. Furthermore, with effective implementation of your customer database, you can re-establish contact with past customers and be able to work toward increasing patient longevity with your company, promote repeat sales and encourage customer referrals. To do this successfully, your marketing efforts should be designed with the customer in mind. Your customers should easily recognize the value of being a part of your campaign, such as special offers, coupons and/or newsletters. A few other strategies that can add value include membership cards, thank you statements, satisfaction surveys, and providing enhanced after-sales customer support.  

Communication with past clients is vital to ensure a lifelong customer. This will provide a steady base of business in which you can continue to grow and you will see a difference in your profit margins.  Effective marketing is based on building trust and developing relationships. If you don't provide your customers with continued reasons to stay, your competitors will give them reasons to leave.

Jennifer Sowards is COO of HME Providers, Inc. Reach her at or 321-267-7576 ext. 222.