There’s a very simple strategy that I have seen work again and again in business. And, it’s something that has made so many companies so much money, it’s amazing how few ever use it. It’s the simple strategy of sending a “thank you” card or making some other unexpected gesture, when your customer buys from you.
So why would you do such a thing? Why should you spend some of your hard-earned profit on such a gesture?
Well, think about this: who is the number one prospect likely to buy from you tomorrow, or in the future? That’s it, the person who bought from you yesterday right?. And that’s where this simple stragegy comes in.
Did you know that it can cost up to spend six or seven times more to chase a new customer than to get a past customer back? And the fact is, there’s the potential for the majority of profit in most companies to come from repeat business. Without repeat business a company will always struggle to grow and make profits.
So, back to the strategy – a company that doesn’t send thank you cards to its customers leaves a lot of profit on the table.
Look at it this way, when was the last time you were sent a thank you note from a company you did business with? Probably a long time ago or never, right?
Big companies, small companies, they’re all as bad as each other. They spend a small fortune getting you to come in and buy and when they have you right where they want you, they let you get away. 68% of customers change supplier because they think that their current one doesn’t care about them!
So there’s one strategy you can use to put that right and to get your customers coming back.
Here are six steps to getting your customers buying from you again and again.
1. Collect their details – and I don’t just mean their name and number, you might be suprised to learn that most business dont do this. You need to learn as much as you can about them. Preferences, birthdays and anything else that will help you turn them into a regular customer. Now obviously you’re not going to ask them about all of this stuff when you first meet them, they’d run a mile. Start by getting enough information about them so that you can at least start to market to them or send them an offer.
One thing to make sure of, you need to have a great database system, and no I’m not talking about that massive spreadsheet you’ve grown over the years, or that pile of forms you have in the box under your desk. Oh and by the way, it’s no use collecting this information if you dont do something with it.
2. Send a thank you card and invite them back – and consider doing it in hand writing, even on something as simple as a postcard. It’s crazy how simple and inexpensive this is, yet so few ever do it. Get them to invite their friends along too.
3. Plan future buying – this is so simple yet very rarely done. What if you sat down and thought it through, or even called or met every customer and discussed their future needs. Just think of how easy it would be for a printer to remind you or even call you about the fact that you are running out of letterheads.
4. Inform your customers of your entire range – ever had customers say, ‘oh, I didn’t know you sold that’? You want every customer to know everything they can buy from you. Just think of how people have insurance with several different companies; when was the last time your insurer called and asked if they could offer you a quote on all the policies you don’t have with them? You need to be more pro-active with customers.
5. Write a monthly or at least a quarterly newsletter – with everyone now circulating email newsletters, going back to the old way of written and printed newsletters may well get the results. With so much technology, sometimes it’s the back-to-basics that work best. Remember to talk about benefits for your customer though, avoid it being full of news about YOU, (cos’ frankly who cares?)
6. Special offers – if they’re not receiving offers, carrying a VIP card, or in some way made to feel important, then you aren’t getting as much from your customers as you should be. Think of your favourite restaurant, could they send you a text every Monday with the menu specials for the week.
I’m sure you can think of dozens more ways to get your customers coming back. It’s not about ideas though, it’s about action. It’s about putting any or all of these ideas into action in your business now… and if you do nothing else… at least you sent someone, or everyone, a thank you note.