Running a successful, growing business requires keeping in touch with your customer base. Always get complete information (names, addresses, emails and phone numbers) at your first contact with a new customer. That way, you can later reconnect with your customer base.
Send out personally-written letters when you want to reconnect with a customer base. You may do this by email or by snail mail. Direct mail may be the best method in some cases. An attractive envelope that stands out in the mail and a letter your customers hold in their hands may make a more lasting impression. Put in your letter tidbits of information about the economy, new products or services you may now have available or seasonal promotions and sales.
Make personal phone calls when possible or when it seems appropriate. Taking time to call a customer and ask how he is doing and what he might need may make him feel appreciated. Plan these calls carefully, however. Timing is everything. Don't call during meal times. Research shows that these business calls are more readily and cheerfully received Tuesday through Thursday. Mondays are usually too busy getting the week started and some people are not in the mood for this type of call. Fridays are the beginning of the weekend and most people have "party time" on their minds.
Drop by to see your customers when you try to reconnect with your customer base. A personal visit may be just the thing to show your genuine interest in them. Consider taking a small gift such as flowers, candy, donuts or even lunch. Dropping in unannounced with fresh donuts for breakfast may get -- and keep -- a previous customer's attention.
Schedule a Customer Appreciation Day and send out invitations to reconnect with your customer base. Serve a casual lunch buffet, cook hamburgers and hot dogs on a grill in the summertime, or provide brunch.