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Don’t make your best customers feel they’re worth less than your newest ones

Cheryl at the Service Untitled blog shares a story we’ve all experienced:

This morning I walked into my usual pharmacy to refill an allergy prescription, and there was a sign inviting new customers who transfer their prescriptions over to this store the offer of half-price on any new prescription and a $100 gift certificate for store use. What about me? I have been having my prescriptions filled here for years, and spend $25 each month on my deductible.

Marketers love to offer amazing deals to new customers. It makes sense if your look at a spreadsheet that shows your cost of acquisition. You can justify a pretty big spend to get that new customer.

But you’re not looking at a spreadsheet that shows the lifetime value of your long-time customer. What is it worth to keep them — and keep them happy?

A good idea: try not to make your long-time fans feel stupid.

No spreadsheet shows the look on your die-hard fan’s face (the one who has stood by you through good times and bad) when they see someone who just got there with the better phone/plan/deal/upgrade. No spreadsheet shows how someone who has supported you for 10 years feels when they find out that they are paying twice as much as the new guy.

No spreadsheet shows when you’re being an ass.

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Comments

  1. Tom November 2, 2010 at 4:56 am #

    I think I (most of us?) am guilty of this to some degree and this post has re-aligned my thinking. Seth Godin blogged recently about the value of true fans http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/05/the-circles-no-more-strangers.html

    The lessons for me here are:
    If you offer something free/reduced price offer at least as much to your existing customers first.
    Think carefully about whether the money I am spending on suspects would be better spent on turning clients into partners.

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