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The Hidden Power of Your Customers: Four Keys to Growing Your Business Through Existing Customers by Becky Carroll

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WHY DO ONLY NEW CUSTOMERS GET THE BEST DEALS?

I have been a customer of a particular company for over 20 years (it is the only provider in my area). Frequently, I receive offers that look interesting at first glance, but on perusing the fine print, I often discover that these offers are for “new customers only.” Other mailings I receive misspell my name or address me as “Dear Friend.” I have to wonder: Is this company really my friend?

A quick Google search on the phrase “new customers only” turns up offers from companies ranging from consumer utilities to financial services firms to dairies. From a company perspective, these “trial offers” no doubt seem like a great way to attract new visitors or customers.

But how might a company's long-time, loyal customers feel about such promotions? A few words come to mind: angry, cheated, not valued, and unappreciated. They may feel—justifiably so—that the company cares more about attracting new customers than keeping their loyal ones. Very likely, it also sends the message to existing customers that they have to go to a competitor to get the best deal.

Is it worthwhile for organizations to be so intent on capturing new customers through these offers that they risk disappointing existing customers, possibly to the point of losing them? It might be better to spend some of that budget to keep existing customers happy, grow them into more frequent or active customers, and let them spread the word.

Encouraging customer word of mouth through ...

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