This is a guest post from Andy Sernovitz — CEO of WordofMouth.org and SocialMedia.org and New York Times bestselling author of “Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking.” See the original post this is adapted from and more like it on his blog.

Everyone knows you make more money selling more to existing customers than you do from new customers.

But most promotions are focused on special deals for new customers. That’s expensive — and it often pisses off loyal customers who feel screwed.

When’s the last time you improved things for existing customers?

Here’s a fantastic example from Tesla (emphasis added):

telsaThe Tesla Model S drive unit warranty has been increased to match that of the battery pack…

Moreover, the warranty extension will apply retroactively to all Model S vehicles ever produced. In hindsight, this should have been our policy from the beginning of the Model S program.

To investors in Tesla, I must acknowledge that this will have a moderately negative effect on Tesla earnings in the short term… However, by doing the right thing for Tesla vehicle owners at this early stage of our company, I am confident that it will work out well in the long term.

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About Andy Sernovitz

Andy Sernovitz builds organizations that help people help each other. His company, GasPedal, builds peer-to-peer communities for people leading meaningful change at the world’s biggest companies, including SocialMedia.org and SocialMedia.org Health. He wrote the best-selling book Word of Mouth Marketing, which teaches you how to earn the respect and recommendation of your customers.

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