Like with any long-term relationship, those with your customers take work. Existing customers need nurturing and constant reminders of their value and worth to you. After all, why should only new customers get the free sweatshirt and duffle bag?
One way to focus on your long-standing customers is to stay innovative. Analyze your relationship and product mix with the organization to determine in what direction you can expand your reach. Is there a way to work within your organization to get the best deal for one of your best customers? Is there something that you can do to show your appreciation just like giving away the free sweatshirt?
Look at offers and special pricing to add to their agreement. For instance, a customer could add an additional product to its contract and in return agree to an additional year under the current subscription. Customers welcome this and find value in the ability to have the latest release and the predictability in their budget for another year.
Another type of innovation can be with the relationship itself. Think about different ideas that might make your contact look good in front of the company and its managers. Get creative with your service to the customer, such as sponsoring an educational seminar or getting involved in the customer’s favorite charity. Constantly look for ways to show your gratitude for their business and at the same time help them understand the value of you and your company.
Keep this in mind: If you’re not constantly working to improve your customer relationships, you likely have competitors that would be more than happy to do so!