Everyone who owns a business knows the key to maintenance and growth is repeat business – then why is it so hard?
Consider this example. I came home from vacation and my Prius wouldn’t start. The battery was out of juice and seeing as how it’s an hybrid electric car, well I needed a battery stat. Luckily for me, I’m a AAA member (love AAA btw). After a quick phone call and less than 45 minutes later, a nice gentleman with a tow truck was ready to transport my car to the dealership. The tow truck driver immediately understood my needs, explained next steps and whisked my car away to the dealership. He was courteous, prompt and knowledgeable and I’m a total sucker for good customer service. Like, a really big sucker. In fact, I was so impressed with my service that I called AAA to thank them for my experience, along with the fact that they hire local companies.
Now for the problem. Yes, there was a problem, despite the rave review I just provided, I cannot, I repeat cannot, remember the name of the nice tow truck driver or his company. I would have been a repeat customer for years to come, if only there had been a leave behind or service follow-up.
This got me to thinking of a few things that businesses can do to encourage and harness the power of repeat business:
Document Customers Contact Information – How are you going to ask for more business if you have no way of contacting them?
- Take down their contact information and create a system for filing it
- Along with their contact info, take down some notes of the interactions you had. Any personal references you can describe the better. Think about how surprised they will during your next conversation when you ask how their hydrangea plants are doing.
Leave a Small Token Behind
- Find something unique to your company or business to leave behind as a momentum. It doesn’t need to be expensive, but try to think outside the normal business card or pen.
- For service based industries, think of a way to remind your customers when their next service is due. For example, what if our nice tow truck driver had placed a small sticker on the inside of my hood with his contact info? The next time I had any trouble, lifted the hood, I would have known who to call.
Follow Up – Connect with your customers after providing services or products.
- Ask for them to complete a quick online survey of their experience
- Send a thank you email with discount for next service (you gathered their email address – right?)
- Send a thank you card. A little bit more on the traditional side, yet a powerful tool.
Here’s to building your business with repeat business!