How to Get Repeat Business From First Time Buyers
Mark Hale ‐ October 22, 2015
You worked hard to get a customer’s business. Sometimes you invested a lot of money to attract this new customer. Yet many businesses do not have a plan to actively get their new customers to buy again. Repeat business is the result of the relationship with the customer. The basic formula for repeat sales is, A + F = R x O = S. Simply means Appreciation + Feedback = Relationship x Opportunities = Sales.
The most basic thing you can do to show appreciation to your customers is to say thank you for their business with your company. You can go beyond that by sending out a thank you note. Some businesses invest in new customer welcome packages. Whatever you do, you should demonstrate your appreciation for the customer’s patronage. This customer could have bought from 100 places, but they chose you.
The first step in customer loyalty is saying thank you. Send your new customer a thank you note. They are inexpensive and effective and by enclosing a coupon for your services will give the customer an opportunity to buy something else for you.
Feedback is the second easiest thing to let slip out, yet it is vital in developing a long-term relationship with the customer for two reasons: one, if there is a problem you need to know about it sooner rather than later; two, it gives you an opportunity to identify other needs the customer may have. The feedback stage also allows you to ask for referrals and references. Call the customer a few days after they purchased and ask them if the product and service was satisfactory.
The end goal is building a relationship with the customer. Selling your product is the easy part. It is what you do after you make the sale that keeps the prospect coming back time after time. This will lead you to the next stage, which is opportunity.
Opportunity is simply giving the customer reasons to come back and do more business with you. In the feedback stage you should have gotten other needs the customer may have. Now you send them specials and offers for other services and products you offer. Direct mail is an excellent way to do this, as is email marketing. One of the best examples I can give you of this is Kohl’s Department store, which for every $50 you spend, they will give you $10 in “Kohl’s Cash”. By the time you leave the store with a hand full of your Kohl’s cash you are planning your next trip. A few days later you receive a flyer or postcard from Kohl’s promoting 15% – 20% specials. All of this leads to more sales from the same customer.
The final element to bringing it all together is maintaining a customer database. You have to keep track of who bought, what they bought, and what they need and want. Some business people think a database is a Quick Books customer report. It is true that Quick Books is a type of a database, but what you need is a marketing database.
It is an investment in your customers of time and money, but the rewards are high.
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