New Customers Only!

By John Leaver

We’ve all heard it before, and some businesses have even made marketing campaigns based around it (Nationwide Building Society 2007), but what do we do for our existing loyal customers when apparently new customers get all the best deals.

No doubt if you’ve run a discounted introductory offer for new customers at least one of your existing members has asked “what about us?”  So what do you do – respond with a ‘tough luck’ reply? Offer all your existing customers the same deal?  Here’s some thoughts on the options.

The reality is that if your business is often providing sign-up incentives then a lot of your existing customers will have benefited from some sort of deal at the start of their custom with yourselves.  Therefore you could accept that these ‘complaints’ are from a small minority of your customer base and ignore them, or resolve these customers’ grievances by offering them a similar deal.

Now look at the bigger picture.  Financial incentives for new customers make the marketing world go round and nearly every consumer will have benefited from one at some point in time.  You only have to look at suppliers to broad sections of the public such as energy, mobile phone, TV, broadband and food companies to see daily incentives for new customers.  This is probably why 95% of your customers accept that your business is offering a deal and just a small percentage have an issue with it.

So are your loyal customers who have been with you for years going to leave?  Not if you continue to provide the following:

  • Levels of customer care that match their individual expectations
  • Facilities and support to help them achieve their goals
  • A sense of belonging that is greater than the pull of your competition

But don’t just be complacent with these customers and ensure you are giving them rewards for referring their friends and family, keep them informed of new activities and services they could benefit from, and organise challenges and competitions to keep them motivated.

And what about those customers who complain that they joined last week and why didn’t they get a deal.  Unfortunately this is just bad timing – when was the last time you shopped in a supermarket and bought an item one day but the next it was on offer?  Do you think Asda get thousands of complaints from customers paying the full price?  Not likely, we the public generally accept this happens.  So why should leisure be any different?

So don’t buckle to the vocal minority next time you plan a campaign, just consider the impact on your existing customers and brief staff on how to handle any comments.

If you need help with your marketing campaigns or would like to explore new digital advertising channels then contact us HERE

John Leaver Head of Alliance Digital As Head of Alliance Digital, John is the go-to expert for all things digital and marketing.  With a passion for technology, gadgets and marketing John delivers exceptional insight into a quickly-changing and often confusing world of digital media channels. @JohnLeaver M: 07909988532