They surprise me every year with their unexpected beauty. One Spring day there is barren ground; almost the next day there are gorgeous flowers. They are the perennials in my yard. We have daylilies, daffodils, hydrangea (pink and blue) and more. The coolest part is they are perennials.

If they get a great experience–the nurturance of sun, rain water and rich soil–they will come back every year and surprise me. Unlike annuals which must be replanted every year, if you take great care of perennials, they will reward you with their return.

You know right where this is going.

The perennial customer.

They are just like my flowers. They enrich your bottom line and add to the value of your business all without having to be resold every year. But, just like the perennial flowers in my yard, they only return if there are nurtured with a positive experience. It not only requires meeting their needs and expectations, it takes the kind of treatment that signals to them they are valued, not taken for granted. Customers today abhor indifferent service more than they detest bad service.

What can you do to enrich your customers’ experiences? How can you add value to each of their encounters with any part of your enterprise?

Research tells us it takes 5-10 times the cost to obtain a new customer than it takes to retain the ones you already have. Nurture your customer relationships and they will become perennial customers!

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